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Full text of "History of Fulton County : embracing early discoveries, the advance of civilization, the labors and triumphs of Sir William Johnson, the inception and development of the glove industry; with town and local records, also military achievements of Fulton county patriots"

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BOUGHT WITH THE INCOME OF THE 

JACOB H. SCHIFF - 

ENDOWMENT FOR THE PROMOTION 

OF STUDIES IN 

HUMAN CIVILIZATIQN 

1916 



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HISTORY 



OF 



Fulton County 



EMBRACING 



EARLY DISCOVERIES; THE ADVANCE OF CIVILIZATION; THE LABORS 
AND TRIUMPHS OF SIR WILLIAM JOHNSON; THE INCEP- 
TION AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE GLOVE INDUS- 
TRY ; WITH TOWN AND LOCAL RECORDS; 
ALSO MILITARY ACHIEVEMENTS OF 
FULTON COUNTY PATRIOTS. 



REVISED AND EDITED 

By Washington Frothingham 



Experience is by industry achieved, 

And perfected by the swift course of time, 

—Shakespeare. 



SYRACUSE, N. Y.: 

D. MASON & CO., Printers and Publishers. 

1892. 



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PREFACE. 



COUNTIES are the chief divisions of all the states in the Union 
except South Carolina, where they are called " districts," and also 
Louisiana, where they are called "parishes." In England the same 
divisions are sometimes called " shires," and hence the term " shire 
town " is often applied to the seat of the county buildings. It need 
hardly be questioned whether Fulton county has not just claim to a 
printed record of that history of which all its citizens may be proud. 
It was with the desire of doing this act of justice that the editor 
assumed the task which he has accomplished laboriously, and he hopes 
successfully. 

The publishers detailed a staff of faithful literateurs to each town, 
and their reports are based on personal inspection, in order to insure 
accuracy. These reports have been thoroughly revised by the editor, 
who has made every effort to render this work authoritj^ in all matters 
within its scope, and especially in reference to the manufacturing in- 
terest. 

While engaged in this task he has become deeply interested in the 
town histories, which portray the labors of the pioneers, and also in the 
personal and family sketches which give variety to the work, and he has 
no doubt that this will prove an attractive as well as a useful volume. 

The lover of history will see that the record includes the earliest 
discoveries and all that subsequent detail of events which gradually led 
to our present greatness, and the justice done Sir William Johnson in 
these pages is not the least point in the importance of the work. 

While the editor acknowledges the faithful service done by his 
assistants, he has to a great degree recast their work in order to give 



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4 PREFACE. 

the volume a uniformity of style in which their individuality is merged. 
His object has been to present a simple narrative and let the facts thus 
recorded speak for themselves. 

One of the most thrilling features in the work is its military his- 
tory, which shows that the patriotism of the revolution was inherited 
by the heroes of the Union army and reminds us that 

Freedom's battles, once begun ; 
Bequeathed from bleeding sire to son, 
Though baffled oft, are ever won. 

In preparing the individual record it was decided to omit all titles. 
" Hon." has become so cheap and vulgar that it is almost disrespectful, 
and in this omission the editor only follows the example of William C. 
Bryant, who never permitted it to appear in the columns of the Even- 
ing Post. Other titles share the same fate, because we respect char- 
acter too highly to add decorations. Horace E. Smith, for instance, is 
as a jurist, far above the LL.D. which Dartmouth College conferred, 
and Willard J. Heacock needs no " Hon." added to the public estimate 
of his character. 

Those who know anything of bookmaking will readily see that the 
cost of such a work must be very great. The publishers have spared 
no expense, and it may be reasonably claimed that they have fulfilled 
in the highest degree the duty they assumed. Hence both editor and 
publisher now unite in the expectation that this history will give full 
satisfaction to the citizens of Fulton county and all other careful and 
intelligent^readers. 



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ROBERT FULTON. 

Our theme being the history of a county named after the steamboat inventor, it 
seems proper to add a brief sketcli of t is great benefactor of our race. Robert Fulton 
was born in 1765 in the interior of Pennsylvania and had but few early advantages. 
He developed, however, a variety of gifts which required a wider field, and in his 
twentieth year he opened a studio in Philadelphia as a miniature painter. 

Later on he went to London to study his art, but soon began to display that inven- 
tive genius which eventually gave him fame. He invented a machine for sawing mar- 
ble and another for excavating and dredging rivers. He also devised improvements in 
canal navigation and became an expert civil engineer. He had not, however, reached 
his true destiny, and his mental activity led him to visit France, where he invented the 
submarine torpedo, which he offered to both the French and British governments, but 
in vain, for the future held for him a higher end. Having given up art, his attention 
had been attracted to steam navigation, even while in England, and though John Fitch's 
project had proved a failure, Fulton returned to America in his forti th year to renew 
the efifort and to begin what proved to be his life work. This was the Clermont, the 
first boat ever successfully propelled by steam, the engine being imported from Eng- 
land. It was built in New York and was at first generally called " Fulton's folly" 

One of his friends has left on record his extreme anxiety during the work, but as 
soon as the Clermont got into motion her success was assured. 

The legislature had granted him a patent on condition that he should build a boat 
of twenty tons which should make five miles an hour, and this was the Clermont's 
speed, though her size was much larger. She made the first trip up the Hudson on the 
7th of September, 1807, with two dozen passengers (fare $7), Fulton himself being on 
board, and in thirty-five hours they reached Albany, which then was marvelous speed. 
Fulton soon built a larger boat, called the Car of Neptune, and thenceforth devoted his 
genius to the extension of his grand invention. 

Like most of the sons of genius, however, he was doomed to incessant difficulties, 
which indeed only terminated with his life. His patents were invaded, occasioning 
vexatious litigation, and it was one of these difficulties which indirectly led to his death. 
He had been required in Trenton to attend to the steamboat interest, and on his return 
to New York was delayed while crossing the Hudson, and was subjected to a keen 
winter blast during the trip, which occupied an hour. He caught a severe cold and 
died in less than six weeks. The interment was in the Livingston vault in Trinity 
church-yard, but no monument or even slab bears his name. 

His best monument, however, is the benefit he conferred on America and the world. 
At the time the Clermont was launched the'-e was not another steamboat in existence. 
Now however, they ply not only on the ocean, but on our canals and far away moun- 
tain lakes. 



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6 ROBERT FULTON. 

In person Fulton was tall and of impressive appearance, with eyes of deep intensity. 
He died at fifty, hardly eight years after the launching of the Clermont, and now 
towns, banks and counties bear his name. None of the latter, however, are so distin- 
guished as Fulton county, and it was but a fitting expression of gratitude that led its 
projectors to thus honor the man that gave the steamboat to the world. 

PERSONAL FACTS. 

Dr. John W. Francis, of New York, who knew Fulton well, wrote the following 
personal sketch ; 

" Among a thousand men you might readily point out Robert Fulton. He was con- 
spicuous from his height, which was over six feet, and his slender but energetic form 
and gentlemanly deportment. His hair was full and curly and dark brown ; his com- 
plexion was fair; his forehead high; his ej'es large, dark and penetrative; his brow 
evinced strength and determination, and his mouth and lips gave the impress of elo- 
quent utterances, but in his thoughtful moments his features assumed a tinge of melan- 
choly. I have often seen him on the wharf regardless of the inclement weather, giving 
directions in an anxious manner, indifferent to all surroundings. 

" Few of those recorded on the roll of fame had a life of more severe trials. The 
incredulity as to the success of his project in the bosoms of some of his warmest friends 
was not concealed, and I have heard the cry of ' Crazy Fulton ' from soma pretending 
to science. Even when his boat was launched there were those who called it the 
'Marine Smoke Jack' and 'Fulton's Folly,' but he stood unruffled and endured all. 
During his numerous years of unremitting toil he had solved too many difficult prob- 
lems to be dismayed by the barking of vulgar ignorance. He was working for a 
nation, not for himself, and the magnitude of the object absorbed all other thoughts. 

"I shall never forget that night of February 24, 1815, on which he died. Dr. 
Hosack, who saw him in the last hour of his illness, returning from his visit, exclaimed : 
' Fulton is dying ; his severe cold in crossing the river amid the ice has brought it on. 
He extended to me his hand, grasping mine closely, but he could no longer speak.' 
Fulton's death indeed created a deep and painful sensation throughout the nation, but 
his invention lived and thus has rendered his name immortal." 



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FEMALE NAMES. 

One of the pe'culiar features which has attracted the editor's attention while review- 
ing the family histories found in this volume is the fanciful female names which occur- 
He adds some of them, so that if any of our readers should be required to name a child 
a choice of unique character could easily be made. 



Arwillma, 


Betelia, 


Emiletta, 


Ladora, 


Marinda, 


Romea, 


Atlanta, 


Byancy, 


Elda, 


Lovisa, 


Mardulla, 


Rosella, 


Andalusia, 


Birdella, 


Emanna, 


Luraine, 


Mony, 


Rexie, 


Alzetta, 


Bethiah, 


Brvina, 


Luemma, 


Maxa, 


Roby, 


Alvia, 


Bella, 


Elba, 


Lavenna, 


Maruva, 


Selma, 


Alpha, 


Oimberline, 


Forba, 


Launette, 


Metella, 


Submit, 


Althena, 


Caddie, 


Florella, 


Ladenna, 


Myrta, 


Sabia, 


Almena, 


Gelestia, 


Francana, 


La Pearl 


Mabyn, 


Sena, 


Alfraetta, 


Calista, 


Fidelia, 


Lula, 


Masia, 


Samarie, 


Arvelma, 


Catha, 


Gerta, 


Lory, 


Meeta, 


Smira, 


Abbalonia, 


Carriebel, 


Greta, 


Lura, 


Nina, 


Suzette, 


Artimetta, 


Crete, 


Georgena, 


Luetta, 


Orva, 


Thankful, 


Andella, 


Dena, 


Georgia, 


Luthera, 


Oltana, 


Toinette, 


Alwilda, 


Delia, 


Geta, 


Lasera, 


Grind a. 


Tonica, 


Arvilla, 


Deloia, 


Harma, 


Lodusky, 


Orvia, 


Tinetta, 


Azuba, 


Doretha, 


Heppie, 


Lisa, 


Orvetta, 


Virgie, 


Annice, 


Delotta, 


Hearty, 


Leona, 


Philura, 


Viva, 


Aurella, 


Deeny, 


Hazel, 


Lorena, 


Philinda, 


Villa, 


Armeina, 


Dilla, 


lone. 


Lelah, 


Per'ina, 


Valira, 


Aptuma, 


Delora, 


•Idela. 


Lenetta, 


Puah, 


Violetta, 


Anhina, 


Demetra, 


loma. 


Lucina, 


Prudy, 


Viletta, 


Adell, 


Delight, 


Ivy, 


Loli, 


Rulianna, 


Vanella, 


Arvillura, 


Elva, 


Isora, 


Marilla, 


Rocklin, 


Zarneh, 


Bertelle, 


Evanna, 


Jasena, 


Mina, 


Regnia, 


Zelphia. 


Beta, 













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CONTENTS 



CHAPTER I. 



Prefatory Remarks — Kreotion o£ Fulton County — Description and Natural Char- 
acteristics — Geography and Topography — Location of Principal Water 
Courses — t'ertile Lands in the South, but less Productive in the Northern 
Portions — Interesting Geological Facts 17 



CHAPTER n. 



European Discoveries and Explorations — The French in Canada — The Puritans 
in New England — The Dutch in New York — Advance in Civilization tow- 
ard the Central Mohawk Valley — Champlain Invades the Territory of the 
Mohawks — The First Battle — Dutch Troubles with the Indians — Grant of 
the Province of New York — Conquest and Overthrow of the Dutch in New 
Netherlands 22 



CHAPTER HI. 



The Indian Occupation — The Iroquois Confederacy — The Five and Six Nations 
of Indians — Location and Names — Character and Power of the League — 
Social and Domestic Habits — The Mohawks — Treatment of Jesuit Mission- 
aries — Discouraging Efiforts at Civilization — Names of Prominent Mission- 
aries — Alliance with the English and Downfall of the Confederacy 11 



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10 CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER IV. 

The French and Indian Wars — Causes Leading to them — English and French 
Jealousies- -Failure of Loid de Courcelle's Expedition Against the Mohawks 

— Corlear Saves the French from Destruction — Iroquois Seek a Peace — 
French Treachery — The Peace of Breda — War Renewed — Iroquois Ask 
English Protection — Invasion of Canada — Schenectady Destroyed — The 
Mohawks Show Friendship — English Colonies Aroused to Action — Services 
of John and Peter Schuyler — Frontenac Invades the Mohawk Country — The 
Castles Captured — Treaty of Ryswick — Peace Again Restored 32 

CHAPTER V. 

Rivalry Between the British and the French — Relative Justice of their Claims — 
How Defined by Sir William Johnson — Both Nations Make Treaties with the 
Iroquois — Provisions of the Treaty of Ryswick — French Encroachments be- 
yond the Treaty Line — War Declared in 1744 — French Outrages in the Mo- 
hawk Country — Treaty of Peace at Aix-la-Chapelle — The Situation 

— The Albany Convention — King Hendrick's Speech — Preparation 
for War — Expeditions of 1755 — Services of Q-eneral Johnson — Shirley's 
Conduct — Battle at Lake George — Death of Hendrick — Distinction of Sir 
William Johnson 38 

CHAPTER VI. 

French and English War Continued — Results of the Campaign of 1756 — French 
Successes in that and Succeeding Years — The Iroquois Divided — Johnson's 
Effort to Unite them — Webb's Disgraceful Conduct — The Mohawk Valley 
Invaded — Palatine Village Destroyed — Aberbcrombie's Neglect and Ineffi- 
ciency — Campaigns of 1757-58 — English Successes — French Reverses — 
Johnson's Achievements — Extinction of the French Power in America 47 

CHAPTER VII. 

Early Settlement of the Mohawk Valley— Van Corlear's Patent— Settlement at 
Schenectady— German Palatinates at Schoharie Creek ; at Canajoharie and 
Palatine Village— Their Character and Customs— Located there as a Defense 
against the French Invasion— The Plan not Fully Successful— Sir William 
Johnson Forms the Germans into Mihtary Companies— French and Indian 
Land Grants— Charters of New York and Pennsylvania Compared— The For- 
mer a Royal Province— Patents Issued Including Lands of Fulton County— 
The Stringer Patent Granted under State Authority 54 



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CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER VIII. 



SIR WILLIAM JOHNSON, BARONET— A CONDENSED HISTORY OF 
THE LIFE OF THE FOUNDER OF JOHNSTOWN 61 



CHAPTER IX. 

Situation of Tryon County from the Close of the French War to the Revolution 
— British Oppression Causes Discontent — The Stamp Act — Duties Levied on 
Other Commodities —The Boston Tea Party — First Congress at Philadelphia 
— New York Opposes the Action of Congress — Districts of Tryon County — 
Guy Johnson Disperses the Meeting at Caughnavcaga — Attack upon Jacob 
Sammons — Action of Loyalists — Guy Park Fortified — General Meeting of the 
Tryon County Committee — Its Objects — Guy Johnson Departs for Canada — 
Conduct of Sir John — He Fortifies the Hall and Arms the Highlanders — His 
Arrest, Parole and FHght to Canada — The Estate Confiscated — Character and 
Duties of the Committees of Safety 74 



CHAPTER X. 

Beginning of the Revolution — The British Influence the Iroquois — Oneidas Re- 
main Neutral^Organization of Militia in Tryon County — St. Leger Invades 
the Mohawk Valley — The Battle of Oriskany and Fort Schuyler — The British 
Defeated — The First Pension — Indian Depredations in 1778 — Campaigns of 
Sullivan and Clinton in 1779 — Sir John Johnson Invades the Valley in 1780 
--Visits Johnstown and Secures his Plate — Details of his Raid— Thrilling 
Narrative of the Capture and Escape of Jacob Sammons 85 



CHAPTER XI. 

Additional Depredations in the Mohawk Valley — Sir John Johnson again Invades 
the Region — The Battle of Stone Arabia — Van Rensselaer's Cowardly Con- 
duct — Condition of the Inhabitants after the Raid — Governor Clinton Sends 
Colonel Willett to Protect the Valley — Invasion by Brant and Butler — Defeat 
of the Latter by Willett's Troops — Battle at Johnstown — The Enemy Routed 
—Death of Walter Butler— End of Hostilities in the Mohawk Valley 103 



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12 CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER XII. 

Condition of the Mohawk Valley at the End of the Revolution — Mohawk Indians 
Forfeit their Lands to the State — Return of Tories — Their Treatment by the 
Mohawk Committee — Settlement of the Region by New Englanders — Tryon 
County Changed to Montgomery — First County Officers — County Buildings 
^Counties Formed from Montgomery — Old Tryon County Districts Formed 
into Towns — Origin of Towns in Fulton County — Caughnawaga Divided — 
County Officers of Tryon County — Also of Montgomery County prior to Re- 
moval of the County Seat to Fonda -liS- 1° 1 



CHAPTER XIII. 

Situation in the Mohawk Valley prior to the War of 1812 — Its Peace and Pros- 
perity — Events Preceding the War — Causes Leading to It — British Aggres- 
sions — American Retaliations — Declaration of War — Militia Called into Ser- 
vice — Regiments formed in the Valley — Their Services — The Return of Peace. 117 



CHAPTER XIV. 

County Organizations — Tryon and Montgomery Counties Briefly Reviewed— The 
Montgomery County Seat Moved to Fonda — Dissatisfaction in the Northern 
Towns — Fulton County Created — Its County Seat and Buildings — County 
Civil List — Presidential Electors — Representatives in Congress — Justices of 
the Supreme Court — Members of Assembly — County Judges — Surrogates — 
Sheriflfs — County Clerks — Treasurers — School Commissioners — Growth and 
Population of Montgomery County 121 



CHAPTER XV. 

FULTON COUNTY IN THE REBELLION 127 

CHAPTER XVI. 

THE GLOVE INDUSTRY 154 



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C0N7ENTS. 13 

CHAPTER XVII. 
RAILROAD ENTERPRISE 171 

CHAPTER XVIII. 
THE LEGAL PROFESSION IN FULTON COUNTY 178 

CHAPTER XIX. 
THE MEDICAL PROFESSION OF FULTON COUNTY 208 

CHAPTER XX. 

TOWN OF JOHNSTOWN 222 

CHAPTER XXI. 
HISTORY OF KINGSBORO AND GLOVERSVILLE 319 

CHAPTER XXII. 
TOWN OF NORTHAMPTON 451 

CHAPTER XXIII. 
TOWN OF BROADALBIN 483 

CHAPTER XXIV. 
TOWN OF MAYFIELD 507 



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14 CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER XXV. 
TOWN OF EPHRATAH 526 

CHAPTER XXVI. 
TOWN OF OPPENHEIM 541 

CHAPTER XXVn . 
TOWN OF PERTH 548 

CHAPTER XXVni. 
TOWN OF STRATFORD 556 

CHAPTER XXIX. 
TOWN OF BLEEGKER 560 

CHAPTER XXX. 
TOWN OF CAROGA 566 

CHAPTER XXXI. 
BIOGRAPHICAL 569 



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CONTENTS. 15 



PART II. 

FAMILY SKETCHES 1 

INDEX 164 



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HISTORY 



OF 



FULTON COUNTY. 



CHAPTER I. 

Prefatory Remarks — Erection of Pulton County — Description and Natural Char- 
acterististics — Geography and Topography — Location of Principal Water Courses — 
Fertile Lands in the South, but Less Productive in the TSTorthern Portions — Interest- 
ing Geological Facts. 

rULTON COUNTY, named after the illustrious inventor of the 
steamboat, was created by the legislative act of April i8, 1838, 
in obedience to a general public sentiment. The removal of the county- 
buildings from Johnstown to Fonda rendered the population of the 
northern part of Montgomery county so indignant that the erection of 
the new county was but an act of justice. Fulton county originally con- 
tained nine towns, including Perth, whose organization was contempo- 
rary with that of the county itself. Caroga, however, was added April 
1 1, 1842, having been created out of Stratford, Bleecker and Johnstown. 
Having thus briefly mentioned the creation of the county and its procur- 
ing cause, it may be well to refer to its geographical, topographical and 
geological features, which have changed but little during the past half 
century. Viewed geographically Fulton county occupies what may be 
called an eastern central position. Its northern boundary is Hamilton 
county; its eastern, Saratoga; its southern, the mother county (Mont- 
3 



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1 8 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

gomery), while Herkimer county bounds it on the west. The 43d 
parallel of latitude crosses near its south boundary, while in Jon- 
gitude it is situated between the 74th and 75th degrees. Its surface is 
a rolling and hilly upland, rising into a mountainous region on the north 
border. The highlands consist of three general ridges, the first occu- 
pying the southeast corner, and including circular drift hills of moder- 
ate elevation, bounded by gradual slopes, the highest summits being 
about four hundred feet above the level of the Mohawk. The second 
ridge extends through and near the center of the county, and occupies 
a wide space along the north border. The acclivities in the north are 
usually steep and rocky, and the highest summits are from eight hun- 
dred to one thousand feet above the Mohawk. The third ridge, which 
much resembles the second, extends through the west part of the county 
and its highest elevations are about twelve hundred feet above the same 
river. 

The principal water course of the county is the Sacandaga river, which 
flows southeast through the town of Northampton. It receives from 
the west the waters of the Vlaie, which has for its tributaries Mayficid, 
Kennyetto and Cranberry creeks. The Chuctenunda flows through the 
southeast part of the county. The Cayadutta courses southwest near 
the center, its valley separating the central and eastern ranges of hills. 
Stony creek, a tributary of the Sacandaga, flows northeast in the north- 
erly continuation of the Garoga valley, and winds through the central 
ranges of hills. Garoga creek, which flows south, is a little west of the 
center of the county, its valley separating the eastern and central ranges. 
East Canada creek forms the greater part of the western boundary, its 
tributaries being North, Fish, and Little Sprite creeks. The other 
streams of the county are branches of those previously mentioned or 
smaller tributaries of the Mohawk. Nearly all are rapid, frequently in- 
terrupted by falls and affording an ample supply of water power. 
Among the hills in the north part of the county are many small lakes, 
possessing those picturesque features which characterize the wilderness 
region of northern New York. Along the Sacandagp, near the mouth 
of the Mayfield creek, and occupying portions of Northampton, Broad- 
albin and Mayfield, is an extensive swamp or vlaie, containing about 
twelve thousand acres. It has been said, and with great probability, 



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GEOLOGY. 19 

that at no very remote period the present swamp must have been a 
lake of considerable size, and a proof of this theory is found in the fact 
that Bleecker, Caroga and Stratford contain a number of small lakes 

The soil in the north part of the county, especially along the valleys, 
is chiefly a gravelly and clayey loam derived from the drift deposits. 
It is well adapted to general culture, and, in favored localities, is ex- 
ceedingly rich and fertile. In the northern portion, however, the sur- 
face is too rough and broken for profitable cultivation. The general 
dividing line between the rich and the less productive agricultural dis- 
tricts of the county passes about midway between Johnstown and Glov- 
ersville, and extends nearly east and west, crossing even Herkimer and 
Saratoga conuties. 

Geology of Fulton County} — The geological record of Fulton county 
carries us back to the very earliest ages of the physical history of the 
world. The rocks of the northern half are Azoic, belonging to the 
original backbone of America, a part of which (the Adirondack moun- 
tains), trends southward from the Laurentian highlands of Canada, form- 
ing a peninsula whose extreme tip is seen at Little Falls ; while those 
of the southern half are Silurian, being a part of the earliest work of the 
ancient ocean which built our continent, building in successive sea- 
beaches along the Azoic land. The division line between the two 
above mentioned formations forces itself upon the attention of even the 
casual observer, who may notice the sudden rise from the lower lands 
to the sharply marked- heights of the Klipp hill and the Mayfield 
mountain. 

To the Azoic continent belong the rocks of Stratford, Garoga; 
Bleecker, also parts' of -Johnstown, Mayfield and Northampton. They 
present a succession of rounded heights and ridges, the remnant of 
much larger masses, worn down into their present shape by the. tritu- 
ration of the glacial icecap. Their sides, are strown with irregular 
blocks of all sizes, and .their hollows are often filled with the glacial 
ponds which are so marked a characteristic of northern New York. 
The rocks of this section are crystalline (principally granite and gneiss); 
with massive quartzite at the summit of the Mayfield mountain and 
elsewhere. Traces of ironare frfequent, although the ore has not been 

1 By Isaac O. Rankin, Peekskill,l,N. Y. 



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20 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTS. 

found in mass. The granite contains large crystals of feldspar, and the 
gneiss is highly garnetiferous. A fine quality of building stone (schis- 
tose gneiss) from inexhaustible quarries in the town of Johnstown is 
the principal contribution which the Azoic rocks have thus far made to 
the wealth of the county, although thousands of dollars have been vainly 
spent in the search for gold. Auriferous ore has been worked upon 
the evidence of promising assays, and a mill for its reduction was built 
at Jackson's Summit, but without ultimate success. 

In the southern section of the county (on the Klipp hill), traces of 
Potsdam sandstone have been discovered, while calciferous sand rock 
crops out" abundantly in Mayfield. Trenton and birdseye limestone 
are also found in different localities, and Utica shale is the common 
surface rock of the whole southern border, the formation thus covering 
the larger part of the lower Silurian period. 

Of these the calciferous sand- rock is of chief commercial importance, 
its limestone beds being quarried for building stone, and also burned 
into excellent building lime in Mayfield, and to some extent in North- 
ampton. Near Johnstown oil wells have been drilled, penetrating the 
friable shale into the underlying formations in the hope of tapping un- 
derground reservoirs of petroleum, but hitherto without remunerative 
result. 

The geological student will find a full exposure of the fossils peculiar 
to the calciferous sand-rock at the Mayfield quarries, and also on the 
exposed ledges at the foot of the mountain ; while the characteristic 
quartz crystals, some of them of great beauty, occur in association with 
calcite and anthracite at Diamond hill in Mayfield. They are also 
found in Herkimer county. The Utica shale is exposed in the railroad 
cuttings of Johnstown and in the ravines of the Cayadutta and Garoga 
creeks. 

The whole territory of Fulton county reveals the effects of the gla- 
cial ice in scratched rocks, scattered boulders and moraines of till, and 
the surface formations of the lower land show the effect of water, both 
in streams and lakes. 

The most peculiar and interesting features of the county (from a stu- 
dent's point of view), is the Vlaie, a tract of several thousand acres of 
drowned lands. It is formed by the junction of three streams whose 



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GEOLOGY. 21 

united channel flows into the Sacandaga just above the great bend 
which turns that river from the southeast to the northeast. This enters 
territory which was no doubt once the bottom of a lake which has been 
drained by a deeper cutting of the channel of the river in its course to 
the Hudson at Luzerne. High water in the Sacandaga dams the above 
mentioned streams and floods the old lake bed, until the river discharges 
its surplus and thus drains the sunken meadows. The processes of land- 
building, which are shown so perfectly in the glacial lakes and bogs of 
the higher parts of the county, are here held in partial check by the pe- 
culiar relations of level in the streams. 

Having thus described the various topographical and geological feat- 
ures of the county, we now proceed to other interesting points in its 
history ; and though its organization occurred in April, 1838, we must 
premise that we do not and cannot limit its record to so recent a date. 
To do this, indeed, were to omit many of the most important and in- 
teresting historical events which took place within the state of New 
York. Justice to Fulton county requires us to say that around its 
county seat there clusters a wealth of historic recollections older than 
even the mother county of Montgomery, and even ancient Tryon county 
itself Hence, in reviewing even in a brief manner the events of local 
history, it is necessary to recall the past for at least a century before 
the organization of the county, and also to refer to even more distant 
events. 



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22 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTS. 



CHAPTER II. 

European Discoveries and Explorations — The French in Canada — The Puritans in 
New England — The Dutch in New York — Advance in Civilization toward the Cen- 
tral ilohawk Valley — Champlain Invades the Territory of the Mohawks — The First 
Battle — Dutch Troubles with the Indians — Grant of the Province of New York — 
Conquest and Overthrow of the Dutch in New Netherlands. 

] UST four hundred years ago the first Spanish adventurers landed on 
Qj the shores of the American continent. Sailing under the patronage 
of Spain, Christopher Columbus, the daring Genoese, in 1492, made his 
wonderful discoveries. This event has generally been designated as 
the discovery of America, but it is evident the first Europeans to visit 
the western hemisphere were Scandinavians, who colonized Iceland in 
A. D. 87s, Greenland in 983, and about the year rooo had cruised 
southward as far as the Massachusetts coast. During the ages that pre- 
ceded these events, no grander country in every point of view ever 
awaited the approach of civilization. With climate and soil diversified 
between the most remote extremes ; with thousands of miles of ocean 
shore, indented by magnificent harbors to welcome the world's com- 
merce ; with many of the largest rivers of the globe draining its terri- 
tory and forming natural highways for commerce ; with a system of 
lakes so immense in area as to entitle them to the name of inland seas ; 
with mountains, hills and valleys laden with the richest minerals and 
almost exhaustless fuel; and with scenery unsurpassed for grandeur, it 
needed only the Caucasian to transform a wilderness inhabited by sav- 
ages into the free, enlightened republic which is to-day the wonder and 
glory of the civilized world. 

Following closely upon the discoveries of Columbus and other early 
explorers, various foreign powers fitted out fleets and commissioned 
navigators to establish colonies in the vast but unknown continent. It 
is not within the scope of the present work to detail the results accom- 
plished by these bold navigators, and yet they naturally led to others 
of greater importance, eventually rendering the Mohawk valley the 



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EARLIER EXPLORATIONS. 23 

battlefield of various contending powers, each striving for the suprem- 
acy over a territory of which Fulton county is an integral part. These 
events, however, will be but briefly mentioned, and only those will be 
detailed which had a direct bearing upon our subject. 

In 1508 Aubert discovered the St. Lawrence; and in 1524, Francis 
I, king of France, sent Jean Verrazzani on a voyage of exploration to 
the new world. He entered a harbor, supposed to have been that of New 
York, where he remained fifteen days ; and it is believed that his crew 
were the first Europeans to land on the soil of what is now the state of 
New York. This Gallic explorer cruised along the coast in his frail 
vessels to the extent of about 2,100 miles, sailing as far north as Lab- 
rador, and giving to the whole region the name of " New France " — a 
name by which the French possessions in America were ever known 
during the dominion of that power. In 1534 the same king sent 
Jacques Cartier to the new country. He made two voyages and 
ascended the St. Lawrence as far as Montreal. The next year he 
again visited the same region with a fleet which brought a number of 
French nobility, all of whom were filled with high hopes, and bearing 
the blessings of the church. This party was determined upon the 
colonization of the country, but, after passing a winter at the Isle of 
Orleans, and suffering much from the rigors of the climate, they aban- 
doned their scheme and returned to France. As a beginning of the 
long list of needless and shameful betrayals, treacheries and other 
abuses to which the too confiding natives were subjected by the various 
European nations, Cartier inveigled into his vessel the Indian chief, 
Donnegana, who had been his generous host, and bore him with several 
others into hopeless captivity and final death. 

The failure of their scheme delayed for several years further action in 
the same direction, but in 1540 Cartier re- visited the scene of his ex- 
plorations, accompanied by Jean Francis de Roberval, the latter holding 
a knight's commission as lieutenant-general over the " new countries of 
Canada, Hochelaga and Saguenay." This commission, according to 
Watson, conferred authority over a vast territory with the plenary pow- 
ers of vice-royalty. The results of their voyage, however, were no more 
profitable than its predecessor, and the effect was to discourage further 
attempts until about 1598, when New France (particularly its Canadian 



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24 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTS. 

portion) was made a place of banishment for French convicts. But even 
this plan failed, and it remained for private enterprise, stimulated by 
the hope of gain, to make the first successful effort toward the perma- 
nent occupation of the country. 

The real discoverer and the founder of a permanent colony in New 
France was Samuel de Champlain, a man born with that uncontrollable 
instinct of investigation and desire for knowledge of distant regions 
which has always so strongly characterized all great explorers. His 
earlier adventures in this country have no connection with this work, 
and it is therefore sufficient to merely mention that in 1608, having 
counseled his patrons that the banks of the St. Lawrence was the most 
favorable site for a new empire, he was sent to the country and founded 
Quebec. To satisfy his love for exploration, Champlain united with the 
Canadian Indians and marched forth into the unknown country which 
the latter had described to him. The result was the discovery of the 
lake which bears his name ; the invasion of the lands of the Mohawks 
in the country of the Iroquois ; a conflict between the Algonquins 
(aided by Champlain) and a portion of the Iroquois confederacy, in 
which the latter were defeated, with the loss of two of their chiefs, who 
fell by the hands of Champlain himself 

- Thus was signalized the first hostile meeting between the white man 
and the Indian. Low as the latter was found in the scale of intelligence 
and humanity, and terrible as were many of the subsequent deeds of 
the Iroquois, it cannot be denied that their early treatment by Euro- 
peans could foster in a savage breast no other feeling than bitterest 
hostility. It seems like a pathetic page of romance to read Champlain's 
statement that " The Iroquois are greatly astonished, seeing two men 
killed so instantaneously," one of whom was their chief; while the in- 
genuous acknowledgment of the Frenchman, " I had put four balls.into 
my arquebus," is a vivid testimony of how little mercy the Iroquois 
nations were thenceforth to expect from their northern enemies and the 
pale-faced race which was eventually to drive them from their domain. 
It was an age, however, in which might was appealed to as right more 
frequently than in later years, and the planting of the lowly banner of 
the Cross was frequently preceded by bloody conquest. It is in the 
light of the prevaiHng customs in the old world in Champlain's time that 



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COL ONIZA TION. 2 5 

wc must view his ready hostility to his Indian enemies.. And now let 
us turn briefly to other events which have had an important bearing on 
the settlement of this part of the country. A few weeks after the battle 
between Champlain and the Indians, Henry Hudson, a navigator, in the 
service of the Dutch East India Company, anchored his ship (the Half- 
Mooti) at the mouth of the river which now bears his name. This took 
place September 3, 1 609. He met the savages and was hospitably re- 
ceived by them ; but before his departure he subjected them to an ex- 
perimental knowledge of the effects of intoxicating liquor — an experi- 
ence perhaps more baneful in its results than that conferred by Cham- 
plain with his new and murderous weapon. Hudson ascended the 
river to a point within less than a hundred miles of that reached by 
Champlain, then returned to Europe and through information he had 
gained, he soon after established a Dutch colony for which a charter 
was granted in 1614, naming the region " New Netherland.'" The 
same year they built a fort on Manhattan Island, and the next year 
another, called Fort Orange on the site of Albany. In 1621 the Dutch 
West India Company was formed, and took possession of " New Am- 
sterdam " and the New Netherlands; and in 1626 the territory was 
made a province or county of Holland. For fifteen years the Dutch 
settlers remained at peace with the Indians, but the harsh and unwise 
administration of the provisional governor, William Kieft, provoked the 
latter to hostilities which continued with but little interruption during 
the remainder of the Dutch dominion. 

Meanwhile, in 1607, the English had made their first permanent set- 
tlement at Jamestown, Virginia, and in 1620 planted their historic 
colony at Plymouth Rock. These two colonies became the successful 
rivals of all others, of whatever nationality, in that strife which finally 
left them masters of the country. 

On the discoveries and colonization efforts thus briefly noted, three 
great European powers based claims to a part of the territory embraced 
in the state of New York. First, England, by reason of the discovery 
of John Cabot, who sailed under commission from Henry VII, and on 
the 24th of June, 1497, reached the sterile coast of Labrador, also that 
made in the following year by his son Sebastian, who explored the 
same coast from New Foundland to Florida, claiming a territory eleven 

4 



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26 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

degrees in width and indefinitely extending westward. Second, France, 
which, from the discoveries o^" Verrazzani, claimed a portion of the 
Atlantic coast, and also, under the title of New France, an almost 
boundless region westward. Third, Holland which based on Hudson's 
discoveries a claim to the entire country from Cape Cod to the south- 
ern shore of Delaware bay. 

The Dutch however became the temporary possessors of the region 
under consideration ; but their domination was of brief duration. Indian 
hostilities were provoked through the ill- conceived action of 
Governor Kieft, whose official career continued for about ten years, 
being superseded by Peter Stuyvesant in May, 1647. Stuyvesant was 
the last of the Dutch governors, and his firm and equitable policy had 
the effect of harmonizing the discontent existing among the Indians. 
On the I2th of March, 1664, however, Charles II of England granted 
by letters patent to his brother James the Duke of York^ all the country 
from the river St. Croix to the Kennebec in Maine ; together with all 
the land from the Connecticut river to the east side of Delaware bay. 
The Duke sent ah English squadron to secure the gift, and on the 8th 
of September following. Governor Stuyvesant capitulated, being con- 
strained to that course by the Dutch colonists, who preferred peace, 
with the same privileges and liberties accorded to the English colonists, 
to a prolonged and perhaps fruitless contest. The English changed the 
name of New Amsterdam to New York, and thus ended the Dutch 
dominion in America. 

The Dutch during their period of peace with the Iroquois had become 
thrifty by trading guns and rum to the Indians for furs, thus supplying 
them with doubly destructive weapons. The peaceful relations exist- 
ing between the Dutch and the Indians at the time of the English ac- 
cession were maintained by the latter, but the strife and jealousy 
between English and French continued, the former steadily gaining 
ground, both through their success in forming and maintaining an alli- 
ance with the Iroquois and also the more permanent character of their 
settlements. It may be added that the final surrender of the Dutch to 
the English power did not lead to a withdrawal of the former from the 
territory. It made no great difference to the settlers from Holland 
whether they were under their own or English jurisdiction, but had 



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IROQUOIS CONFEDERACY. 27 

their preferences been consulted they would of course have preferred 
their mother country. Their settlements extended from New Amster- 
dam (New York) on the south, to Albany on the north, mainly along 
the Hudson river, but there are well-defined evidences of their early 
occupation of what is now western Vermont and also part of Massachu- 
setts ; and at the same time the}' also advanced their outposts along the 
Mohawk valley toward the region of old Tryon county. 



CHAPTER ni. 



The Indian Occupation — The Iroquois Confederacy — The Five and Six Nations of 
Indians — Location and Names — Character and Power of the League — Social and 
Domestic Habits — The Mohawks — Treatment of the Jesuit Missionaries — Discour- 
aging Efiforts at Civilization — Names of Prominent Missionaries — Alliance with the 
English and Downfall of the Confederacy. 

AFTER the establishment of the Dutch in the New Netherlands the 
region now embraced within the state of New York was held by three 
powers — one native and two foreign. The main colonies of the French 
(one of the powers referred to), were in the Canadas, but through the 
zeal of the Jesuit missionaries their line of possessions had been ex- 
tended south and west of the St. Lawrence river, and some attempts 
at colonization had been made, but as yet with only partial success. In 
the southern and eastern portion of the province granted to the Duke 
of York were the English, who with steady yet sure advances were 
pressing settlement and civilization westward, and gradually nearing 
the French possessions. The French and English were at this time 
and also for many years afterward conflicting powers, each struggling 
for the mastery on both sides of the Atlantic; and with each succeed- 
ing outbreak of war in the mother countries there were renewed hos- 
tilities between their American colonies. Directly between the posses- 
sions of the French and the English lay the lands of the famous Iro- 
quois confederacy, then more commonlly known as the Five Nations ot 
Indians. By the French they were called the " Iroquois" ; but to the 



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28 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTy. 

Dutch they were known as the " Maquas ", while the English called 
them " Mingoes", but however variously they may have been designa- 
ted, they were a race of savages whose peculiar organization, prowess 
on the field of battle, loyalty to friends as well as barbarous revenge 
upon enemies, together with eloquent speech and stoical endurance of 
torture have surprised all who are conversant with their history. 

When, during the latter part of the fifteenth and early part of the six- 
teenth century, the foreign navigators visited the American continent 
they found it in possession of two formidable races of savages, between 
whom there was no unity ; and yet while open hostility was suppressed, 
they were nevertheless in a constant state of disquiet, each being jeal- 
ous of the other and at the same time doubtful of its own strength and 
fearful of the results of a general war. One of these nations occupied 
the region of the larger rivers of Pennsylvania and also that on the south 
and west. They were known as Delawares to the Europeans, but styled 
themselves " Lenni Lenapes," meaning " original people." The other 
nations occupied, principally, the territory which afterwards formed the 
state of New York, and is known in history as the " Iroquois Confeder- 
acy," or the Five, and subsequently, the Six Nations. 

This confederacy originally comprised five nations, which were located 
from east to west across the territory which now forms our state, begin- 
ning with the Mohawks on the extreme east, the Oneidas next, and the 
Onondagas, Cayugas and Senecas following in the above named order. 
Each of these nations was divided into five tribes, and all were united 
in common league. Parkman says, " Both reason and tradition point 
to the conclusion that the Iroquois originally formed one undivided peo- 
ple. Sundered, like countless other tribes, by dissensions, caprice, or 
the necessities of a hunter's life, they separated into five distinct na- 
tions " The central council fire of the confederacy was with the Onon- 
dagas, while to the Mohawks, according to Clark, was always accorded 
" the high consideration of furnishing the war captain (chief), or ' Tcka- 
rahogea', which distinguishing title was retained as late as 1814." 

The government of this remarkable confederacy was exercised 
through councils in which each nation was represented by deputies or 
sachems. In their peculiar blending of the individual, the tribal and 
the national interests lay the secret of the immense power which for 



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THE IROQUOIS. 29 

more than a century resisted the hostile efforts of the French, which 
caused them for nearly a century to be alike courted and feared by the 
contending French and English colonies, and which enabled them to 
subdue the neigboring Indian tribes, until they became really the dic- 
tators of the continent, gaining indeed the title of " The Romans of 
the New World." Dewitt Clinton speaking on this subject said : " They 
reduced war to a science, and all their movements were directed by 
system and policy. They never attacked a hostile country till they had 
sent out spies to explore and designate its vulnerable points, and when 
they encamped they observed the greatest circumspection to guard 
against surprise. Whatever superiority of force they might have, they 
never nelected the use of stratagem, employing all the crafty wiles of 
the Carthaginians." There is, however, a difference in the opinion of 
authors as to the true military status of the Iroquois. In the forest 
they were a terrible foe, while in an open country they could not suc- 
cessfully contend with disciplined soldiery ; but they made up for this 
deficiency, to a large degree, by their self-confidence, vindictiveness 
and insatiable desire for ascendancy and triumph. 

While the Iroquois were undoubtedly superior in mental capacity and 
more provident than their Canadian enemies and other tribes, there is 
little indication that they were ever inclined to improve the conditions in 
which they were found by the Europeans. They were closely attached 
to their warrior and hunter life, and devoted their energies to the lower, 
if not the lowest, forms of enjoyment and gratification. Their dwell- 
ings, even among the more stationary tribes, were rude, their food coarse 
and poor and their domestic habits and surroundings unclean and bar- 
barous. Their dress was ordinarily the skins of animals until the ad- 
vent of the whites, and was primitive in character. Their women were 
degraded into mere beasts of burden, and while they believed in a su- 
preme being, they were powerfully swayed by superstition, by incanta- 
tions by " medicine men," dreams and visions, and their feasts were ex- 
hibitions of debauchery and gluttony. 

Such, according to our sincere belief, are some of the more prominent 
characteristics of the race encountered by Champlain when he came into 
the Iroquois country nearly three centuries ago, and welcomed them 
with the first volley of bullets, a policy that was pursued by all his civ- 



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30 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTS. 

ilized successors. It is not denied that the Indians possessed a few re- 
deeming characteristics, but they were so strongly dominated by 
their barbarous manner of hfe and their savage traits, that years of 
faithful missionary labor by the Jesuits and others was productive of but 
little real benefit. It may be added that whatever is true of any one of 
the Five Nations, or, as they became in 17 12, the Six Nations, is equally 
true of all the others. The Mohawks occupied the region of eastern and 
northern New York, and it is with them that we have particularly to 
deal in this narrative. They were, perhaps, as peaceful and domestic as 
any of the confederacy, yet all the early efforts for their civilization and 
conversion to Christianity were uncertain and discouraging. No strong, 
controlling influence for good was ever obtained among them prior to 
the time of Sir William Johnson, and even then it is doubtful whether 
they wire not moved more by the power of purchase than by love of 
rectitude. 

When Champlain opened the way for French dominion in America, 
the task of planting Christianity among the Indians was assigned to the 
Jesuits, a name derived from the Society of Jesus founded by Ignatius 
Loyola in 1539 ; but while their primary object was to spread the gos- 
pel, their secondary and scarcely less important purpose was to extend 
the French dominion. In 1736 Canada was restored to France, and 
within three years from that date there were fifteen Jesuits in the prov- 
ince. They rapidly increased and extended their influence to a large 
number of the Indian nations in the far west, but particularly to the 
Mohawks on the east and the Senecas, whose lands lay on the west of 
the "long house" of the Iroquois. As early as 1654, during a tempo- 
rary peace between the French and the Five Nations, Father Bablon 
founded a mission and built a chapel in the Mohawk valley, but when 
war was resumed the Jesuits were forced to flee from the region. Be- 
tween 1657 ^"d 176) twenty- four missionaries labored among the Iro- 
quois Indians, but we are directly interested only in those who sought 
converts among the Mohawks. Isaac Jogues was one of these, whose 
career in the Indian country forms one of the most thrilling chapters of 
history. He was held by the Mohawks as a prisoner from August, 1642, 
to the same month of the next year, and labored as a missionary with 
the same nation in 1646, in October of which year he was killed. Si- 



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MISSIONARIES. 3 1 

mon le Moyne labored with the Mohawks about two months in 1655, and 
again in 1656, and also the third time in 1657, to May, 1658. Francis 
Joseph Bressani was imprisoned by the Mohawks about six months in 
1644. Juhen Garnier was sent to them in May, 1668, and passed on to 
the Onondagas and Senecas. Jacques Bruyas came from the Ononda- 
gas to the Mohawks in July, 1667. He left for the Oneidas in Septem- 
ber and returned in 1672, continuing in service several years. Jacques 
Fremin came in July, 1667, and remained about a year. Jean Perron 
was sent in the same year and he also remained about a year. Francis 
Boniface labored with the Mohawks from 1668 to 1673, when he was 
succeeded by Francis VaiUant de Gueslis. These faithful missionaries 
were followed in later years by such noble workers as Henry Barclay, 
John Ogilvie, Spencer, Timothy Woodbridge, Gideon Haw- 
ley, Eleazer Wheelock, Samuel Kirkland, Bishop Hobart, Eleazer Wil- 
liams, Dan Barnes (Methodist) and others of less distinction, all of whom 
labored faithfully but with varied perseverance for the conversion of the 
Iroquois, AH, however, were forced to admit that their efforts as a 
whole were unsatisfactory and discouraging. Even subsequent efforts 
to establish education and Christianity among the Indians, while yield- 
ing perhaps sufficient results to justify their prosecution, have constantly 
met with discouraging obstacles. 

The advent of the European nations was the forerunner of the down- 
fall of the Iroquois confederacy, and doubtless will lead to the ultimate 
extinction of the Indian race. The French invasion of 1693, together 
with that of three years later, cost the confederacy half its warriors. 
Their allegiance to the British (with the exception of the Oneidas) in the 
revolutionary war, proved to be a dependence on a falling power, and 
this in connection with the relentless vengeance of the American colon- 
ists, broke up the once powerful league and either scattered its mem- 
bers to a large extent upon the friendly soil of Canada, or left them at 
the mercy of the state and general government, which consigned them 
to reservations with very imperfect provision for their amelioration. 



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32 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTS. 



CHAPTER IV. 

The French and Indian Wars — Causes Leading to them — English and French 
Jealousies — Failure of Lord de Courcelle's Expedition Against the Mohawks — Cor- 
lear Saves the French from Destruction — Iroquois Seek a Peace — French Treachery 
— The Peace of Breda — War Renewed — Iroquois Ask English Protection — In- 
vasion of Canada — Schenectady Destroyed — The Mohawks Show Friendship — En- 
glish Colonies Aroused to Action — Services of John and Peter Schuyler — Frontenac 
Invades the Mohawk Country — The Castles Captured — Treaty of Eyswick — Peace 
Again Eestored. 

rROM the death of Champlain until the end of the French dominion 
in America, the friendship established by that great explorer between 
his own people and the northern Indians was unbroken, while at the 
same time it led to the unyielding hostility of the Iroquois, and espe- 
cially of the Mohawks, for the latter were the first to suffer a fearful ex- 
perience of the destructive power of European firearms. If truces and 
formal treaties were made between these antagonistic elements, they 
were brief in duration and of little general effect. The Jesuit fathers 
labored zealously, but they made no permanent progress in winning the 
affections of any of the Five Nations. Accepting the English view of 
their influence they unsettled the savage mind and led to such compli- 
cations as to require from the provincial authorities of New York, in 
1700, an unjustifiable law inflicting the death penalty on every Romish 
priest that should come voluntarily into the province, but even this 
severe measure did not entirely terminate their work. After the acces- 
sion of the English, the peaceful relations held with the Iroquois by the 
Dutch were continued, but strife and jealousy incessantly embroiled the 
English and the French, and ultimately led to a terrible war which 
lasted until 1763 (with brief intervals of peace), and delayed for many 
years the settlement of the Mohawk Valley. 

The causes which led to the protracted contentions between the 
French and the Iroquois Indians are clear and distinct. They began 
with the unwarranted invasion by Champlain, and his allied savages, of 



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THE FRENCH AND IROQUOIS. ^ 

the Mohawk region, which engendered an hostility that eventually co3t 
hundreds of lives in battle, together with the ruthless slaughter of an 
equal or greater number who were innocent of war- like intent. The 
real struggle of the period known as the French and Indian war began 
soon after the conquest of the New Netherlands by the English, and 
ended only with the extinction of the French power in America, but it 
is only of the series of conflicts called in history by that title, that the 
present chapter is designed to treat. 

In the hope of avenging past injuries, and to put an end to future in- 
vasions, the people of New France resolved, in 1665, to send against 
the Mohawks a force that should not return until their enemies should 
be swept from the face of the earth, but it was not until the month of 
January, 1666, that Lord de Courcelles, with a force of less than six 
hundred men, started on this expedition. It was his purpose to de- 
stroy the Mohawk nation, and therefore the route of travel was through 
the valley of Lake Champlain, but the severity of the winter was so 
great that the invading force, being reduced to distress, was obliged to 
abandon the enterprise. The Mohawks and Oneidas, becoming aware 
of the projected invasion of their territory, and of the straits in which 
the invaders were placed, determined upon vengeance, and were only 
restrained through the potent influence of Arent Van Corlear, one of 
the settlers at Schenectady, whose urgent intercessions turned the aven- 
gers from their purpose and saved'the dei^nceless Frenchmen from de- 
struction. 

The magnitude of De Courcelles's expedition, although it resulted in 
no disaster to the Mohawks, prompted the Iroquois to sue for peace, 
and a treaty with the French powers was concluded in May, June and 
July, 1666, by the Mohawks, Oneidas and Senecas. During the treaty 
negotiations, however, the Mohawks committed an outrage on the Fort 
St. Anne garrison, and this led the governor of Canada (M. de Tracy) 
to chastise the offending tribe. In the following September he invaded 
the Mohawk country, the villages and crops were destroyed, and the 
natives only found refuge in flight. In July, 1667, however, the peace 
of Breda, between Holland, England and France was signed, and this 
defined the boundaries of possessions of each power in America, and 
for a time maintained a peace with the Iroquois, but it was of short du- 

5 



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34 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

ration, for in 1669 we find the French and the Iroquois again at war. 
In April, 1672, a change in the administration in Canada was made, fol- 
lowed by another peace, concluded in 1673, which was maintained for 
about eleven years, but in 1684 another rupture took place. At this 
time M. de la Barre was governor of Canada and New France, and 
Colonel Dongan governor of New York. The former led an ineffectual 
expedition against the Senecas, but was soon superseded by Marquis 
Denonville, the latter bearing special instructions from his sovereign to 
preserve peace with the Indians. This he found impossible, and he 
therefore planned a powerful expedition into the Iroquois country, in 
1687, destroying numerous villages and all the growing crops, while the 
Indians fled before the approaching enemy and sought protection of the 
governor of New York. This was promised, with advice that no peace 
be again concluded with the French Denonville, however, called a 
council of the Iroquois chiefs, with a view to peace, but treachery on 
the part of the French commander so enraged the whole confederacy 
that in July, 1689, they made a descent upon Montreal, burned and de- 
stroyed property, massacred men, women and children, and returned 
with twenty-six prisoners, most of whom were burned at the stake. 

The French colony was now in a pitiable condition, but an unex- 
pected and welcome change was at hand. The divided counsels of the 
English colonies, growing out of the revolution in the mother country, 
by which William Prince of Orange was placed on the throne, gave a 
new aspect to affairs. The Count de Frontenac was again appointed 
governor of New France, May 21, 1689, and arrived in October. He 
made an earnest effort to negotiate a peace with the Iroquois, but fail- 
ing, determined to terrify them into neutrality. For this purpose he 
fitted out three expedition.^;, one against New York, one against Con- 
necticut, and a third against other parts of New England. The first 
and principal one was directed against Schenectady, which was sacked 
and burned on the night of February 8 and 9, 1690. A band of 
French and Indians, after a marcli of twenty-two days along the course 
of the West Canada creek, fell upon the doomed and unprotected vil- 
lage. But two houses were spared, also fifty or sixty old men, women 
and children, and about twenty Mohawks. This was done, as it was 
said "in order to show them " (the Mohawks) "that it was the English 



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ENGLISH RETALIATION. 35 

and not they against whom the grudge was entertained." The French 
made a rapid but disastrous retreat, suffering from the winter severity 
and also from the harassing pursuit of their maddened enemies. This 
and other assaults at e.xposed points so disheartened the people at 
Albany that they resolved to retire to New York; and their course was 
altered only by a delegation of the Mohawks' which reproached them 
for their torpidity, urging them to a courageous defense of their homes. 
This heroic conduct of the Mohawks awakens admiration. Notwith- 
standing French intrigues and Jesuitical influence, combined with the 
exasperating apathy of the English, who appeared willing to sacrifice 
their savage yet in this instance noble allies, they adhered to their early 
allegiance. 

Repeated invasions by the French and Indians at last awakened the 
English colonists to the conviction that they must more thoroughly 
unite in their efforts against the enemies. A convention was accord- 
ingly held in New York in 1690, constituted of delegates from Massa- 
chusetts, Connecticut and New York, at which it was resolved to com- 
bine their strength for the subjugation of Canada. The first named 
province engaged to equip a fleet and attack the French possessions by 
water, while the other two should combine their forces and assault 
Montreal and the forts upon the Sorel river. Through lack of efficient 
organization and the failure of expected supplies, the expedition was 
abandoned. During the same year, however, John Schuyler, grand- 
father of Philip Schuyler of revolutionary fame, having organized a band 
of about one hundred and twenty 'Christians and Indians," made an 
incursion into the French possessions and destroyed much property as 
well as routing and killing the inhabitants of the villages, and in the 
summer of 1691, Major Peter Schuyler led an expedition into the same 
region, among his forces being eighty Mohawk warriors. 

The Iroquois continued their incursions against the French and were, 
perhaps, more dreaded by the latter than were the English. The people 
of New France were prevented from properly tilling their lands, and 
when crops were grown they were frequently destroyed bj' the invaders. 

' Annals of Tryon County, Appendix, Note A. 



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36 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

The fur trade,' in which the French were actively engaged, was also 
nearly ruined by the Iroquois, who took possession of the pass between 
them and their western allies, and cut off the traders. 

These forays exasperated Count de Frontenac to such a degree that 
he determined, if possible, to bring them to a final close. He therefore 
planned an expedition against the Mohawks to be executed in the mid- 
winter of 1693, and he made his preparation with the greatest secrecy. 
Having collected a force of nearly seven hundred French and Indians, 
he cautiously though rapidly passed Lake Champlain on the ice, de- 
scended into the Mohawk country, surprised and captured three of their 
castles; 2 meeting with resistance only at the last, and retreated with 
about three hundred prisoners. Major Peter Schuyler, ever the firm 
friend of the Mohawks, hastily gathered a party of Albany militia and 
Indians (five hundred in number), and started in pursuit with such ac- 
tivity that the fugitives in their haste suffered greatly for food, being 
compelled, as it is said, " to eat the leather of their shoes." They 
escaped, however, with a loss of eighty killed and thirty- three wounded. 
In 1695 another strong force of French and Indians invaded the Onon- 
daga territory, and although by far the most formidable invasion the 
Iroquois had thus far suffered, it was almost fruitless in other results 
than the destruction of villages and crops. 

The treaty of Ryswick was concluded in September, 1697, but while 
it established a peace between the French and English, it practically 

' It is interesting in this connection to note the prices which ruled in the Indian trade at Fort 
Orange (Albany) and Montreal in i68g ; 

The Indian pays for At Fort Orange, Montreal. 

Eight pounds of powder One Beaver Four Beavers 

A gun__ Two " Three 

Forty pounds of lead One *' Four 

Blanket of red cloth One " Two 

Four shirts One " Two 

Six pairs of stockings.-- --- One " -_Two 

Six quarts of rum One " Six 

It is a rather amusing indication of the prevalent mode of dealing with the foolish natives, that 
while a gun could be purchased tor three beavers, it required six to buy a gallon and a half of 
rum. 

''■ The three Mohawk castles, so called, captured by the French, were situated on the south side 
of the Mohawk river; the lower or eastern being at Icanderago, afterwards called hort Hunter, 
near the junction of the Mohawk and Schoharie rivers \ while the central or Canajoharie castle (as 
then called), stood on the hill at the east end of the village of Fort Plain (called by the Indians Ta- 
ragli-ja-res, signifying hill of health) , and the third or western castle was in what is now the town of 
Danube. — Schoharie Co. Hist., page 26. 



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7^^2Ge 




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TREATIES OF PEACE. 37 

left unsettled the status of the Iroquois. Tlie French insisted on the 
protection of their own Indian allies, but were unwilling to include the 
Iroquois, and even made preparations to attack them with their whole 
force. The English on the other hand as strenuously claimed the same 
terms for their allies, and Earl Bellamont informed Count de Frontenac 
that he would resist any attack on the Iroquois with the entire force of 
his government. This terminated the threats of the enemy. 

Peace being thus established (although the old rivalries continued to 
smoulder) the English left nothing undone to strengthen and render 
enduring the friendship between themselves and the Iroquois. Liberal 
presents were distributed among the chiefs, and five of them were taken 
by Peter Schuyler to London, that they might become impressed with 
the greatness and strength of the government to which they were allied. 
All this, however, did not prevent the Iroquois from making peace with 
the French in September, 1 700, and notwithstanding the additional fact 
they had, less than a month previously, ceded to Great Britain their 
hunting-grounds in which they had (to quote the conveyance) "sub- 
dued the old inhabitants, a thousand miles west of Niagara, all around 
the lakes." 

On the accession of Anne to the British throne, as successor of King 
William, in March, 1702, what has been known as Queen Anne's war 
was soon begun, in which Marlboro won great fame. It continued un- 
til the treaty of Utrecht,' April 1 1, 17 13, but though felt in the colonies 
New York fortunately escaped its bloody consequences. 

• This treaty " secured the Protestant succession to the British throne, also the separation of 
the French and Spanish crowns, the destruction of Dunkirk, the enlargement o£ the British colo- 
nies in America, and a full satisfaction from France of the claims of the allied kingdoms Britain, 
Holland and Germany." Fortunately the Five Nations had made a treaty of neutrality (August 
4, 1701,) with the French in Canada, and thus became an impassable barrier against the savages 
from the St. Lawrence.— Lossing. 



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38 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTS. 



CHAPTER V. 

Rivalry between the British and the French — Eelative Justice of their Claims — How 
Defined by Sir William Johnson — Both Nations Make Treaties with the Iroquois — Pro- 
visions of the Treaty of Ryswick — French Encroachments beyond the Treaty Line — 
War Declared in 1744 — French Outrages in the Mohawk Country — Treaty of Peace at 
Aix-la-Chapelle — The Situation — The Albany Convention — Kmg Hendrick's Speech — 
Preparation for War — Expeditions of 1755 — Services of General Johnson — Shirley's 
Conduct — Battle at Lake George — Death of Hendrick — Distinction of Sir William 
Johnson. 

DURING the peace that followed the treaty of Utrecht, what 
may be termed the permanent occupation of the upper 
Mohawk Valley was begun by a number of Palatinates, who in 
171 1 dissatisfied with their condition on the Hudson, made their way 
to the Schoharie to occupy lands promised by Queen Anne. To be 
strictly accurate, however, it should be stated that the Mohawk Valley 
in the neighborhood of Schenectady at least was settled as early as 1661, 
under the direction and patronage of Arent Van Corlear, who acquired 
title from the Mohawks, and whose purchase was confirmed, in 1684, 
by Governor Dongan. The destruction of this settlement by the French 
and Canadian Indians on the night of the 8th and 9th of February, 
1690, has been described in the preceding chapter and hence we only 
make a brief and passing reference while speaking of the rival claims of 
the English and French to the Mohawk territory. It is evident that 
the claims of England were based upon a much broader foundation of 
justice than those of France, and both should have been, in some degree, 
subject to the rights of the Iroquois as the " original proprietors." 
These rights were subsequently defined by Sir William Johnson in the 
following language : " The hereditary domains of the Mohawks extend 
from near Albany to the Little Falls (Oneida boundary), and all the 
country from thence eastward, etc., north to Rejiohne in Lake Cham- 
plain." While the French were in possession of New France their 
influence over all the Indians within its limits was paramount and they 



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TERMS OF THE TREATY OF RYSWICK. 39 

even disputed with the English the alliance of the latter with the 
Iroquois, but whatever may have been the foundation of French claims 
to the territory of Canada, or even to a portion of the present territory 
of New York, they could hardly be recognized as holding any part of 
the Mohawk region. Even admitting that four of the Iroquois nations, in 
1665, concluded a treaty with De Tracy, by which they placed them- 
selves under the protection of the French king, it is evident that the 
Mohawks were not a party to that treaty and it is also evident that 
continued though occasional and always unsuccessful hostilities on the 
part of the French against the Iroquois followed for years. On the 
other hand, although England in the cession of New Netlierlands 
acquired only the territory previously held by the Dutch, yet she 
secured the firm and lasting allegiance of the Mohawks, a friendship 
more closely cemented by the influence of Sir William Johnson. In 
addition to the foregoing the original charter of Virginia ^ carried the 
English possessions to the forty- fifth parallel, and later grants extended 
her sovereignty to the St. Lawrence river. 

The treaty of Ryswick (1697) declared that the belligerents should 
return to their possessions, as each occupied them at the beginning of 
the hostilities, and England put forth the unconditional claim that, 
at the period referred to in the treaty, their Iroquois allies were in 
the occupation by conquest of Montreal and the shores of the St. 
Lawrence. The French government at that time seems to have acknowl- 
edged that the Iroquois were embraced in the treaty. Thus the two 
European powers wrangled over the country of the Mohawks which 
was but a little time previously the undisputed dominion of the Iroquois. 
When France disputed the claims, of England and appealed to the 
council at Onondaga, a stern, savage orator exclaimed : " We have 
ceded our lands to no one ; we hold them of heaven alone" 1. 

Whether so much importance should attach to the treaties in which 
these untutored savages were pitted against the intelligent Europeans, 
either French or English, as has often been ascribed to them, is ques- 
tionable ; especially when we consider the methods often adopted in later 
years to induce the Indians to sign away their domain. Be this as it 
may, it is now generally believed that the intrusion of France upon the 

1 Bancroft. 



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40 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

possessions of the Mohawks in the valley of Lake Champlain, "at the 
sacrifice of so much blood and treasure, justice and the restraints and 
faith of the treaties, were subordinated to the lust of power and expe- 
diency " ' . 

The encroachment by the French upon the territory of the English 
and their allies, the Iroquois, was one of the chief causes of the French 
and Indian war. As early as the year 173 1, the surveyor- general of the 
Canadas made a complete survey of the entire Champlain valley, includ- 
ing both the New York and Vermont shores, and also Ticonderoga, and 
not content with this geographical aggression, he extended his work so 
as to include both sides of the St. Lawrence river nearly to Lake 
Ontario. The territory thus surveyed was divided into vast tracts and 
granted as " seigniories " to various proprietors, either for rewards for 
service to the French crown, or for other considerations. Acting under 
the assumed authority of ownership a small number of the grantees 
attempted to actually occupy their lands, but the Canadian government, 
apparently observing that war between France and England would 
soon take place, prepared for such an event by possessing themselves 
of the strongest points in the Champlain valley, and erecting suitable 
fortifications. The acknowledged key of the country was at Fort St. 
Frederick, now Crown Point, which the French occupied in 173 1. 
Ticonderoga was near and to the southward, and here also a fortress 
was constructed. In the western part of the province of New York 
other defences were also established, this being done with the consent 
of the Senecas, whose confidence the wily Frenchmen and their 
Jesuit associates had fully gained. In the interior of the Mohawk 
country, however, there no preparation for war was made other than 
accomplished through the influence of Sir William Johnson, whose 
advent to the Mohawk Valley antedated the beginning of hostilities by 
only ten years. 

In March, 1744, war was declared between Great Britain and France, 
and the former power at once prosecuted measures for the conquest of 
the French possessions. The colonies of New York and New England 
united in an expedition to co-operate with the fleet under Commodore 
Warren in an attack on the fortress of Louisburg, which capitulated in 

J Watson. 



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FRENCH AND INDIAN FORAYS. 41 

June, 1745. This suppressed all danger from that direction, but the 
country north of Albany was continually harassed by incursions from 
the Indians and French starting from Crown Point and other hostile 
strongholds. Saratoga was attacked in the fall of 1745, and utterly 
devastated. This was followed by the descent upon Hoosick village, 
the garrison of which was forced to surrender, leaving the settlement 
all the way to Albany open to the enemy. More than twenty other 
minor expeditions were fitted out by the French from Fort St. Frederick, 
to fall upon the frontier English settlements and burn, pillage and 
slaughter. It is little wonder, therefore, that the inhabitants of New 
York viewed this fortress as a standing and constant menace and the 
following statements will give an idea of the character of some of the 
marauding parties and their bloody success. 

"May 24th 1746. A party of eight Abenakis has been fitted out, 
who have been in the direction of Corlear (Schenectady) and have 
returned with some prisoners and scalps." 

" May 28th. A party of eight Abenakis struck a blow near Albany 
and Corlear, and returned with some scalps." 

" August lOth. Chevalier de Repentigny arrived at Quebec and 
reported that he had made an attack near Corlear and took eleven 
prisoners and twenty- five scalps " 

We forbear further addition to this terrible recital. Who indeed can 
imagine the horrors of a season filled with such scenes ? The colonists 
seemed almost powerless against the enemy — wily, rapid, blood-thirsty, 
and with a knowledge of every trail and point of vantage. Colonel 
Johnson sent out two parties against the F"rench and their allies on the 
4th of August, who made an attack on Chambly, but after a successful 
beginning they were drawn into an ambush and most of them killed or 
captured. 

The international contest from 1744 to 1748 had an important 
object in the possession of the Mississippi valley, which the English 
claimed as an extension of their coast discoveries and settlements, and 
the French by right of occupancy, their forts already extending from 
Canada to Louisiana, and forming " a bow, of which the English col- 
onies were the string." At the last mentioned date the English colonies 
contained more than a million inhabitants, while the French had only 
6 



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42 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

sixty thousand. The Iroquois would not engage in this strife until 
1746, when they were disappointed at its sudden termination, having 
compromised themselves with their old enemies (the allies of the F"rench), 
now more numerous and dangerous than formerly. The old question 
of Iroquois supremacy was, therefore, renewed in a more intensified 
manner. 

In April, 1748, was concluded the ineffective, if not actually shame- 
ful, treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, and while it was a virtual renewal of the 
treaties of Ryswick and Utrecht, it left unsettled the questions above al- 
luded to, with others of equal importance to the colonies, and the fort- 
resses of Louisburg and Crown Point were returned to the French with- 
out a protest. 

Opposed and embarrassed by political factions, Governor Clinton re- 
signed his office in October, 1753, and was succeeded by Sir Danvers 
Osborne. The same distractions and aggravated by the loss of his wife 
threw the latter into a state of melancholia which ended in suicide. He 
was succeeded by Lieutenant-Governor James DeLancy, who, in his 
message to the assembly in the spring of 1754, called attention to recent 
French encroachments, and to a request from Virginia for aid to resist 
them. The -assembly voted one thousand pounds to bear its share in 
erecting forts along the frontier. The French by reason of victories in 
Pennsylvania in 1754, were left in undisputed possession of the entire 
region west of the AUeghanies. The necessity for united action by the 
English colonies was now too apparent to be overlooked ; but the old 
sectional differences tended to prevent harmony in sentiment or action. 
The Iroquois were also to some extent becoming alienated from the Eng- 
lish, whose apathy and failures they did not relish. Under the advice 
of the British ministry a convention of delegates from all the colonial 
assembUes was held at Albany in June, 1754. The object of this meet- 
ing was to secure a continued alliance with the Six Nations. Governor 
De Lancey presided, and opened the proceedings with a speech to the 
Indian chiefs and sachems who were present. A treaty was renewed, 
and the Indians left apparently satisfied. 

Colonel, afterward Sir William, Johnson was present at this conven- 
tion and made many valuable suggestions to the delegates. He had by 
this time become well acquainted with the Indian character; had in- 



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KING HENDRICK. 43 

gratiated himself in their affections, not only among the Mohawks but 
as well among the Iroquois. He was made by the former one of their 
sachems, having authority in their councils ; and likewise he was created 
war chief, and as such frequently assumed the costume and habits of the 
Indians. 

After the Albany convention had been concluded, but before the 
treaty was finally settled. King Hendrick, ^ then highest in authority 
among the Mohawks, addressed the delegates and Indians upon the sub- 
ject of the meeting. His final speech closed as follows : " Brethren, we 
put you in mind, from our former speech, of the defenceless state of your 
frontiers, particularly of this city' and of Schenectady, and of the coun- 
try of the Five Nations. You told us yesterday that you were consult- 
ing about securing both. We beg that you will resolve upon something 
speedily. You are not safe from danger one day. The French have 
their hatchets in their hands both at Ohio and at two places in New 
England. We don't know but this very night they may attack us. Since 
Colonel Johnson has been in this city there has been a French Indian 
at his house (Fort Johnson), who took measure of the wall around it, 
and made very narrow observations on everything thereabouts. We 
think Colonel Johnson in very great danger, because the French will 
take more than ordinary pains to kill him or take him prisoner, both on 
account of his great interest among us and because he is one of our 
sachems. Brethren, there is an affair about which our hearts tremble 
and our minds are deeply concerned. We refer to the selling of rum 
in our castles. It destroys many, both of our old and young people. 
We are in great fear about this rum. It may cause murder on both 
sides. We, the Mohawks of both castles, request that the people who 
are settled around about us may not be suffered to sell our people rum. 
It keeps them all poor and makes them idle and wicked. If they have 

' Kins Hendrick was born about the year j68o, and generally dwelt at the upper castle of the Mo- 
hawk nation, although he resided for a time near the present (1845) residence of Nicholas Yost, on 
the north side of the Mohawk, near the Nose. He was one of the most active and sagacious sachems 
of his time. He stood high in the confidence of Sir William Johnson, with whom he was engaged 
in many perilious enterprises against the Canadian French ; and under whose command he fell in 
the battle of Lake George, September 8, 1755, covered with glory. — Schoharie County and Border 
Wars. 



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44 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

any money or goods they lay all out in rum. It destroys virtue and 
the progress of religion among us." ' 

" It was on this occasion," also remarks a cotemporary writer of the 
period, " that the venerable Hendrick, the great Mohawk chieftain, pro- 
nounced one of those thrilling and eloquent speeches that marked the 
nobler times of the Iroquois. It excited the wonder and admiration of 
those who listened, and commanded the highest encomiums wherever 
it was read. In burning words he contrasted the supineness and im- 
becility of the English with the energies of the French policy. His 
hoary head and majestic bearing attached dignity and force to his utter- 
ances. 'We,' he exclaimed, ' would have gone and taken Crown Point, 
but you hindered us.' He closed his philippic with the overwhelming 
rebuke : ' Look at the French ; they are men. They are fortifying 
everywhere. But you, and we are ashamed to say it, you are like 
women — bare and open without any fortifications ! ' " 

Meanwhile, at the suggestion of the Massachusetts delegates to the 
convention, a plan for the union of the colonies was taken into consid- 
eration. The suggestion was favorably received and a committee of one 
from each colony was appointed to draw plans for the purpose, the fer- 
tile mind of Benjamin Franklin having already suggested a plan which 
was adopted. It was the forerunner of our federal constitution ; but the 
colonial assemblies rejected it, deeming that it enroached on their lib- 
erties, while the home government rejected it, claiming that it granted 
too much power to the people. 

Though England and France were nominally at peace, the frontier 
was still distressingly harassed by hordes of Indians let loose by the 
French, and the colonies continued their appeal to the ministry. While 
the latter were hesitating, the Duke of Cumberland, then captain- gen- 
eral of the British armies, sent over early in 1755 General Edward Brad- 
dock, with a detachment from the army in Ireland. He soon after met 
the colonial governors at Alexandria ^ and measures were devised for the 
protection of the colonies. 

' The governor promised satisfaction to this pathetic appeal, of course ; gave the Indians thirty 
■wagon-loads of presents, and the civilized inhabitants went on selling their gallons of mm for 
beaver skins, and the Indians have often been cursed for their intemperance. 

* By special request of Braddock, Colonel William Johnson was present at this meeting. He was 
then appointed superintendent of Indian affairs, " with full power to treat with the confederate na- 
tions, and secure them and their allies to the British interest." Braddock also advanced Johnson 
2000 pounds for the furtherance of the latter object. — Stomas Life of Sir Wtliiam yohnson. 



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BRADDOCK AND JOHNSON. 45 

For this purpose four expeditions were planned by General Braddock 
(1755) — tlie first to effect the reduction of Nova Scotia; the second to 
recover the Ohio valley ; the third to expel the French from Fort Ni- 
agara and then form a junction with the Ohio expedition, and the fourth 
to capture Crown Point. The first of these expeditions was entirely 
successful ; the second, under command of Braddock himself, was (chiefly 
through his folly) disastrous in the extreme. He neglected to send out 
scouts, as repeatedly counseled by Washington, and when within a few 
miles of Fort Du Quesne, the army was surprised by the concealed enemy 
and only saved from destruction by Washington, who, upon the fall of 
Braddock, assumed command and conducted the retreat. The expedi- 
tion against Fort Niagara commanded by General Shirley, governor of 
Massachusetts, was also unsuccessful, and many of his force left him, 
after hearing of Braddock's defeat. 

The army gathered for the capture of Crown Point was assembled at 
Albany, and its command entrusted to Colonel William Johnson, who, 
for the purpose of the expedition, had been elevated to the rank of ma- 
jor-general. His force comprised the militia and volunteers from New 
York and the New England provinces, added to which was a strong 
body of his faithful Mohawk warriors, headed by their famous chief, 
King Hendrick. Johnson proceeded northward and occupied positions 
at Fort Edward and Lake George ' . expecting reinforcements from the 
western nations of the Iroquois ; but in this he was disappointed. Gen- 
eral Shirley 2, in marching against Fort Niagara, had spread dissensions 
among the confederates, telling them that Johnson was his subordinate 
and subject to his orders ; that his office of superintendent of Indian af- 

> The former name of this lake, applied by Champlain, was "Lac St. Sacrament" in honor of the 
day of his first visit to its shores. General Johnson, on the occasion of camping at the lake with 
his troops, changed the name to "Lake George", in honor of George III., then the British sovereign. 

2 The peculiar action of Governor Shirley on this occasion is best explained by General Johnson 
in the report sent by him to the Board of Trade, and written from the camp at Lake George. The 
report is as follows : "Governor Shirley, soon after his arrival at Albany, on his way to Oswego, 
grew dissatisfied with my proceedings, and employed one Lydius, of that place — a man whom he 
knew and I told him, was extremely obnoxious to me, and the very man whom the Indians had in 
their public meetings so warmly complained of, to oppose my interest and management with them. 
Under this man, several others were employed. These persons went to the Indian castles, and by 
bribes, keeping them constantly feasting and drunk ; calumniating my character ; depreciating my 
commission, authority and management ; in short, by the most licentious and abandoned proceed- 
ings, raised such a confusion among the Indians, particularly the two Mohawk castles, that their 
sachems were under the utmost consternation," etc. 



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46 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

fairs was but nominal, and that the warriors would best serve their own 
interests by joining his army. These things were related to Johnson by 
chief Hendrick in explanation of the absence of the promised aid of the 
western Indians. Their assistance had been assured at a council of the 
chiefs and sachems held with the Onondagas prior to the organization 
of the expedition. The total Indian force which accompanied this ex- 
pedition amounted to two hundred and fifty men, all of whom were 
under the especial charge of General Johnson, who was known among 
them as " Warraghiyaghey." The militia and volunteers were under 
command of General Lyman, and amounted, when all assembled in the 
field, to about 4,000 men. 

A detail of the events of the battle that followed cannot be considered 
an essential part of this narrative, although it took place within the Mo- 
hawk country. At the beginning of the conflict King Hendrick was 
slain, and Johnson severely wounded. He retired from the field after 
having turned the command over to General Lyman. As a matter of 
fact it should be stated that General Johnson held supreme command 
during this expedition, while General Lyman was his faithful aid ; but 
the Indians of the army required careful and discreet attention to make 
their service available, and as Johnson was their friend, he gave them 
his special attention throughout the engagement, while the immediate 
command of the troops devolved upon General Lyman and the other 
officers of rank. General Johnson, however, directed the various ma- 
neuvers through which success was finally attained. 

The French regulars, commanded by Dieskau, fought with great 
heroism, but the Canadian Indians were of but little assistance, as they 
were dispersed by a few shots thrown in their midst. The Senecas, who 
had been induced to join the French standard, on seeing themselves op- 
posed by their old brethren the Mohawks, discharged their weapons in 
the air and abandoned the conflict. Dieskau, the French general, was 
wounded and disabled, but refused to be carried from the field, and or- 
dered his subordinate, Montrueil, to assume command and make the best 
retreat possible. The French were put to flight in such confusion that 
all their baggage and ammunition was left behind for the victors. Their 
loss amounted to about four hundred and fifty, while that of the Eng- 
lish and Mohawks was nearly one hundred less. 



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ENGLISH FAILURES. 47 

The French were partially paralyzed by this defeat, but Johnson was 
charged with neglect of the opportunity opened before him. He might 
(it was said) have taken Fort St. Frederick and Ticonderoga, while on 
the other hand he spent the summer in erecting Fort William Henry, at 
the head of Lake George. The Mohawks, fearing an invasion of their 
villages by the Canada Indians, were permitted to return to their homes. 
The services of General Johnson on this occasion were rewarded with a 
baronetcy, his office of superintendent of Indian affairs was confirmed, 
and he was granted the sum of five thousand pounds. From this event 
was acquired the title by which he was ever afterward known — " Sir 
William Johnson." 



CHAPTER VI. 



French and English War Continued — Results of the Campaign 1756 — French Suc- 
cesses in that and Succeeding Years — • The Iroquois Divided — Johnson's Efforts to 
unite Them — Webb's Disgraceful Conduct — The Mohawk Valley Invaded — Pala- 
tine Village Destroyed — Aberbcrombie's Neglect and Inefficiency — Campaigns of 
1T67-58 — English Successes — French Reverses — Johnson's Achievements — Extinc 
tion of the French Power in America. 

STRANGE as it may appear, after the hostilities described in the 
preceding chapter, it was not until the following summer that war 
was formally declared between Great Britain and France. Three prin- 
cipal campaigns were organized in 1756; one against Fort Niagara with 
six thousand men ; the second against Fort Du Quesne with three thou- 
sand men, and the third, by far the largest army yet assembled in the 
country, a force of ten thousand troops designed for the reduction of 
Crown Point, the occupation of the Champlain valley, and, if necessary, 
the invasion of Canada. General John Winslow was in command of the 
latter, but was joined by General Abercrombie with reinforcements 
from Lord Loudon, governor of Virginia. Abercrombie at once re- 
moved the provincial officers, placing in their stead men from the regu- 
lar army, who, though versed in tactics, were wholly destitute of a 



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48 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTS. 

knowledge of the methods of conducting military operations in such a 
region. Through the inactivity of the commanding officers nothing 
was accomplished in the way of taking the French strongholds, while 
at other points the results were equally unsatisfactory and the cam- 
paigns ended with much greater advantage to the French than to the 
English. 

The campaign for 1757 was arranged by the English in proportions 
equal to its predecessor, while the French army under Montcalm was by 
no means inactive. The latter had by this time not only gained the friend- 
ship of many of the western Iroquois, but had succeeded in enlisting 
them under the French standard. The league of the Iroquois was now 
so weakened as to have lost much of its ancient power of union, and 
the brethren were no longer averse to warring with each other. In 
fact at this time a large number of the Iroquois had become settled in 
Canada, chiefly on account of French successes in previous years and 
the constant apathy of the English, and even the strong influence of 
Sir William was no longer effectual in enlisting them in the cause which 
he represented. The greater part of the Mohawk nation, however, re- 
mained true to Sir William, their adopted chief, and were, with a frag- 
ment of other nations, factors in this campaign and that of the following 
year, but instead of being aggressors, the English officers appeared to 
prefer a mere defense. Their strong points in this province were at 
Fort William Henry and Fort Edward; the former garrisoned by Col- 
onel Munro with 500 men, and supported by 1,700 troops in an en- 
trenched camp. General Webb was at Fort Edward, only fifteen miles 
away, with 4,000 effective men. Munro therefore felt strong in his po- 
sition, but when "Montcalm laid siege to the fort and assistance became 
necessary, and was solicited, the cowardly 1 Webb withheld it, and even 
suggested that Munro should make terms of surrender with the French. 
Sir William Johnson with his Mohawk warriors and militia started to 

' Another evidence of the consummate cowardice of General Webb was made apparent in his 
conduct at the German Flats, in the Mohawk valley. Two days before the surrender at Oswego, 
Webb had been sent to the relief of that position. On the 20th day of August, following. Sir Will- 
iam Jonhson with two battalions of militia and 300 Indians, was sent to support Webb. At the 
Oneida carrying place news was received of the fall of Oswego, whereupon the terrified Webb 
" fancying he already beheld his own scalp dangling from the waist of some brawny savage," 
caused trees to be immediately felled across Wood creek, and fled with his troops to the German 
Plats. 



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HUMILIATION OF THE ENGLISH' 49 

relieve the besieged garrison, but the commander in charge ordered his 
return. The natural and only result was the surrender of the position 
at Fort William Henry, followed by the indiscriminate slaughter of a 
number of the prisoners, although, in justice to Montcalm, it must be 
said that he did all in his power to prevent it. 

Fort William Henry was totally destroyed and its stores and muni- 
tions captured ; and this with a loss to the French of only fifty- three 
men. Webb at once prepared to retreat to the Hudson. Mont- 
calm had intended an invasion of the Hudson river region and 
the capture of Albany, but from the fact that his Canadian soldiers 
were needed at their homes to harvest their fields, in order to avert a 
threatened famine, he retired satisfied with his success and glory. 
Meanwhile Loudon had taken a position on Long Island, the English 
hajd been driven from the Ohio ; Montcalm had restored the St. Law- 
rence valley to France, and Great Britain and her colonies were not 
only humiliated but were naturally fearful of the future. 

During the year 1757 there was made another disastrous invasion of 
the beautiful Mohawk valley by the French and Indians. At that time 
there were scattered settlements all through the vicinity of the river, 
the pioneers being chiefly Germans, or Palatines. They had become 
thrifty and were possessed of dwellings and well tilled fields. They 
had been sufficiently apprised of the intended invasion, and had they 
heeded the warnings given by the Oneida Indians they might have es- 
caped at least a part of the vengeance that fell so fearfully upon them. 
General Abercrombie, too, was negligent in giving protection to the 
settlers and to the friendly Indians, although frequent requests therefor 
had been made to him. Before daylight on the morning of November 
12 the dwellers of the Palatine village were aroused by the terrific 
war-whoop, and immediately three hundred Canadians and Indians, 
under Bellettre, attacked each block-house. Some show of resistance 
was made, but without avail. The people asked for quarter, but no 
mercy was shown. The dwellings were burned and their occupants 
ruthlessly tomahawked while they vainly endeavored to escape. Forty 
Germans in all were massacred and one hundred and fifty others car- 
ried away captives. In addition to these bloody horrors the invaders 
captured large quantities of grain, three thousand cattle and as many 
7 



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50 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

sheep. This invasion so alarmed the settlers of the whole region that 
the inhabitants living elsewhere in the valley sought safety in flight to 
the settlements at Schenectady and Albany, and the villages of Stone 
Arabia and Cherry Valley became almost depopulated. 

At the time this massacre took place Sir William Johnson was con- 
fined to his room by sickness, but through his secretaryhe at once sent 
word to the Oneidas and Tuscaroras, enquiring of them why they had 
not warned the Germans of their danger. The Indians, however, were 
not at fault, as their warning had been duly given. Abercrombie was also 
addressed from the same source, and a correspondence of some warmth 
was conducted in relation to that officer's neglect of duty. Lord Lou- 
don, who was in Albany about that time, was inclined to place the 
blame upon the Iroquois in general, and exhibited a strong desire to 
make war upon them ; but, fortunately, the influence of Sir William 
Johnson prevailed, thereby averting the misery which would certainly 
have followed. 

Although the campaign of the previous year had been one of disaster 
to the English, that very fact seemed to infuse a little spirit into the 
ministry, which found public expression chiefly through the gifted 
statesman, William Pitt. A million and a half of people inhabited the 
British colonies, and an army of some 5,000 men was soon subject to 
the command of Abercrombie. Commercial intercourse with the 
mother country was almost untrammeled, arid there seems no sufficient 
reason why the French power should not have been extinguished by one 
grand movement. This predominance of the English, however, was 
considerably impaired by the fact that the French had gained stronger 
influence over the Indians, and then the Canadian population was more 
concentrated, while above all, the French cause was under command 
of by far the most brilliant and able men. In the language of a cotem- 
porary, " Britain had sent to her colonies effete generals, bankrupt no- 
bles and debauched parasites of the court. France selected her func- 
tionaries from the wisest, noblest and best of her people, and, therefore, 
her colonial interests were usually directed with sagacity." 

English hostilities began in 1758 with brilliant achievements by the 
rangers under Rogers and Putnam, which did not, however, seriously 
influence the general campaign. As in the preceding year, three for- 



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SUPINENESS OF ABERCROMBIE. sr 

midable expeditions were planned, the varied points being Louisburg, 
Fort Du Quesne and Ticonderoga. Louisburg was besieged, and after 
some weeks of vigorous defence, surrendered to the English. The army- 
sent against Fort Du Quesne was commanded by Gen. John Forbes, 
through whose dilatory movement it came very near failure ; but at 
last the decisive action of Washington restored victory to the English 
arms, and the 24th of November the French set fire to the defences and 
fled down the Ohio river. 

The capture of Ticonderoga however and the descent on Montreal was 
the most important of these campaigns, being indeed the vital point in the 
war. A force of about 7,000 regulars, nearly 9,000 provincials, and a 
heavy train of artillery, was assembled at the head of Lake George by 
the beginning of July. Unfortunately, however, the command of this 
fine army was given to General James Abercrombie. Judging well 
of his incapacity, Pitt sought to avert the probability of failure by the 
selection of Lord Howe, to whom was given the rank of brigadier-gen- 
eral and he was made the controlling spirit of the expedition. 

Early on the morning of July 5 this splendid army embarked upon 
Lake George, and two days later made a landing on Lake Champlain 
at the point that now bears Lord Howe's name. In the first engage- 
ment that took place he fell mortally wounded, and his death destroyed 
all hope of a successful campaign. On the morning of the 8th Sir Will- 
iam Johnson arrived, accompaned by nearly four hundred Mohawks 
and other Indian warriors,^ but at the same time the French army was 
re-enforced by the arrival of De Levis and his four hundred veterans. 
He designed another invasion of the Mohawk valley, but had been or- 
dered back to join the main body under Montcalm. During the en- 

' To give the readfer something of an idea of the difHculties that attended the gathering of this 
body of Indians, attention is directed to the following extracts from a letter addressed by Sir Will- 
iam Johnson to General Abercrombie: " Camp in the woods within ten miles of Fort Edward, 
Tuly 5 1758, 6 in the morning. Sir :— I arrived here last night with near two hundred Indians of 
the Five Nations and others. Mr. Crogan and some of the Indian ofHcers are within a day's march 
of nie with about one hundred men, as I hear from letters from him." " I set off from my house 
last Tuesday with as many as I could there get sober to move with me, which were but a few, for 
liquor was as filenty with them as ditch-water, being brought up from Schenectady by their and 
other squaws as well as whites, and sold to them at night in spite of all I could do. These have 
since joined me by small parties. I assure your excellency, no man ever had more trouble than I 
have had to get them away from the liquor ; and if the fate of the whole country depended upon 
my moving a day sooner, I could not do it without leaving them behind, and disgusting all the na- 
tions," etc. 



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52 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

gagement which followed, and in which the British were seriously de- 
feated, Johnson and his Indians were posted on Mount Defiance, then 
known as Sugar Loaf Hill, and from their position were prevented from 
taking an active part in the battle. 

The details of this sanguinary conflict need not here be narrated ; 
they are emblazoned on the pages of many a history. The assault was 
hopeless from the beginning, and while its bloody scenes were being en- 
acted, under the watchful eye of the brilliant Montcalm, Abercrombie 
looked after the welfare of his own noble person amid the security of 
the saw-mills, two miles from the battle-field ; and before early dawn of 
the morning of the lOth, he had placed the length of Lake George be- 
tween himself and his conquerers. The total loss to the British was 
more than two thousand men ; of the French about five hundred men. 
This terrible and probably unnecessary catastrophe was partially offset by 
the successful siege of Fort Frontenac, which capitulated to Bradstreet 
on the 26th of August. While Abercrombie thus dallied in contempt- 
ible indecision, Montcalm, re-enforced with 3,000 Canadians and 600 In- 
dians, was vigilant and persistent, striking wherever he could detect a 
vulnerable point. 

The events thus far recorded seem to indicate an early approaching 
triumph of the French cause in America, but really a dark reverse was 
imminent. Canada was suffering the horrors of famine and was almost 
depopulated of men, who had been required to fill the military ranks. 
Montcalm was persistently appealing to the crown for aid, but the gov- 
ernment could only furnish provisions and ammunition. On the other 
hand the English now appeared to have been stirred to renewed action 
through the zeal of William Pitt, and the year 1759 opened with far 
better prospects of success for the British arms. Changes had been 
made in military affairs ; Abercrombie was superseded by General Am- 
herst, and when the latter appealed to the colonists for militia rein- 
forcements they willingly complied with the request, although they were 
heavily burdened with debt on account of previous expenditures. 

The proposed campaign of the year comprised in addition to the con- 
quest of Ticonderoga also the capture of Fort Niagara and the siege of 
Quebec. On the 7th of July General Prideaux was joined by Sir Will- 
iam Johnson, between whom there existed warm friendship, quite the 



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AWAKENING OF THE ENGLISH. 53 

reverse of the relations between the latter and Abercrombie. It was 
agreed by both officers that Oswego and Fort Niagara were important 
positions, and ought to be taken during the campaign. For this pur- 
pose Johnson was to assemble as man)' as possible of the Iroquois 
and join the expedition under Prideaux. As early as January 18 John- 
son held a conference with Mohawk and Seneca chiefs at Canajoharie 
castle, his purpose being to call a general council of as many of the 
Iroquois as could be induced to attend, and if possible unite them all 
under his standard. The result was that in April following, another 
council was held at Canajoharie and assurances given by the savages 
of willingness to join Johnson in the expedition. When he arrived at 
Prideaux's camp, Johnson had in his command no less than seven hun- 
dred dusky warriors, as well as a strong force of provincial troops. 
After the surrender of the fort at Niagara, Johnson and his forces re- 
mained in the neighborhood, and also at Oswego, until the 14th of Oc- 
tober, when he departed for Mount Johnson. 

In the Champlain region the En'glish armies were also successful. 
Montcalm had taken a position at Quebec, to defend the stronghold 
against the attacks of General Wolfe ; and there both of these brave offi- 
cers found their graves. General Amherst laid siege to Ticonderoga, 
which was defended by a garrison of four hundred men under Boula- 
marque. The fort was evacuated on July 26, and this was soon fol- 
lowed by the withdrawal of the French from Crown Point. The dom- 
ination of France was ended by the fall of Quebec September 18, 1759, 
thus leaving the English masters of all America, for the surrender of 
Vaudreul on the 8th of the next September was an inevitable result. 

The Senecas were by this time distrustful of the French and wavered 
between uncertain possibilities. They also desired to be with the vic- 
tors, and the general result of the previous year had not brought to the 
French arms the success the commanders had promised. Moreover, 
the Indian faith in the French had been considerably shaken by treach- 
■eries, and many of the savages were anxious to return to their old alle- 
giance.i 

1 Although hostilities between the two nations had now ceased, a formal peace was not estab- 
lished until 1763, when, on the lothof February, the treaty of Paris was sis:ned, by which France 
ceded to Great Britain all her possessions in Canada. On the 30th of July, 1760, Governor De Lan- 
cey, o£ New York, suddenly died, and the government passed into the hands of Cadwallader Col- 
den, who was commissioned lieutenant-governor in August, 1761. In October of that year Gen- 
eral Robert Monkton was appointed governor of the province of New York. 



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54 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 



CHAPTER VII. 

Early Settlement of the Mohawk Valley — Van Corlear's Patent -^ Settlement at 
Schenectady — German Palatinates at Schoharie Creek; at Canajoharie and Palatine 
Village — Their Character and Customs — Located there as a Defense against the French 
Invasion — The Plan not Fully Successful — Sir William Johnson Forms the Germans 
into Militia Companies — French and Indian Land Grants — Charters of New York and 
Pennsylvania Compared — The Former a Royal Province — Patents Issued Including 
Lands of Fulton County — The Stringer Patent Granted under State Authority. 

AS has been briefly mentioned in one of the preceding chapters, 
civilized settlement began in the Mohawk valley in i66l, when 
Arent Van Corlear purchased from the Indian proprietors a large tract of 
land in the vicinity of Fort Orange, and another covering the present site 
of Schenectady. In 1684, nearly twenty years after the conquest of the 
Dutch by the English, the purchases made by Corlear were confirmed 
by Governor Dongan. During the period of the early wars between 
the French and the Indians, there was but little attempt at settlement 
in any of the frontiers, such efforts being attended with many hardships 
and great danger. Even Schenectady, protected as it may have been, 
was (as has been narrated) surprised and destroyed by the French and 
Canadian savages in February, 1690. Notwithstanding that fearful 
tragedy, before the lapse of little more than a score of years another at- 
tempt was made at the colonization of the valley, and this too in a region 
farther west, being within the territory afterward formed into old Mont- 
gomery county. 

During the early years of the seventeenth century Europe was sub- 
jected to a series of religious wars, in which the Romanists were opposed 
to Protestantism, their determination being to crush the latter out of 
existence. One of the localities seriously affected by this conflict was 
the Lower Palatinate, in Germany; a province peopled by a hardy, 
though obstinate and ignorant race. To escape persecution this people 
fled from their native country and found temporary refuge in England, 
In 1702 Queen Anne succeeded King William, and the way was soon 



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THE PALATINATES. 55 

provided by which the German refugees were given a home in the new 
world. The first of the Palatinates (as they were called) arrived in 
New York in 1707, followed in 1710 by a larger number, estimated at 
three thousand. The projectors of the colonization scheme intended 
that the Palatinates should settle in the Mohawk valley, but on examin- 
ation of that region with reference to its adaptability the scheme was found 
to be impracticable, and the emigrants were located in the Hudson 
river country. A portion of the original number however remained 
in New York, while many went to Pennsylvania and became permanent 
residents. There were many causes which wrought dissatisfaction 
among the Palatinates in the Hudson river district, chief among which 
was the fact that they were obliged to serve under government agents 
who were often both tyrannical and dishonest. 

From this and other causes the poor Germans became discontented 
with their abode and determined to seek homes eleswhere, particularly 
in the region which (as they claimed) Queen Anne had promised them. 
In fact they were so bent in this purpose that- the authorities were 
obliged to use force to hold them to their contract. At last the officers 
in charge became discouraged in their endeavors to improve such re- 
fractory settlers, and therefore permitted them to gratify their desires — 
hoping that the removal might aflford protection against the incursions 
of the French and their Indian allies. In 17 12, by permission of the 
Mohawks, a number of these families located on Schoharie creek, but later 
on they had annoyance in disputes concerning their land titles. In 
1723 colonies of Palatinates moved farther up the Mohawk and settled 
at Canajoharie and Palatine. In 1722 a number of them purchased 
lands in the vicinity of Fort Hunter, while others settled on West Can- 
ada creek. On the 19th of October, 1723, Stone Arabia patent was 
granted to twenty-seven Palatinate families whose members numbered 
one hundred and twenty- seven. Their lands included 12,700 acres, 
which was divided into twenty- seven equal parts, and laid out in lots 
to assist in this division. 

The provincial authorities erred in their estimate of the value of the 
German settlers as a means of protection against invasion. On the 
contrary the very character and customs of this people seemed to almost 
invite a hostile attack, and it was not until several years after the arrival 



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56 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

of Colonel William Johnson that they held any semblance of military 
organization. They were careless of their own interests and reckless of 
their safety, either personal or of property. This was clearly shown 
when in November, 1757, the inhabitants of Palatine village received 
timely warning of an imminent French and Indian attack, but they dis- 
regarded the friendly caution and their hamlet was destroyed and many 
of its people killed or carried into captivity. Notwithstanding the above 
mentioned defeat, the Palatines were prosperous, and contributed much 
to the early development and welfare of the Mohawk valley region. 
They increased rapidly in numbers, each succeeding generation being 
an improvement ; and in the valley to-day are many of the descendants 
of the original settlers who have reached wealth and distinction. Sir 
William Johnson afterward organized many of these Palatines into 
militia companies — nine of them all told, and he called them together 
whenever there appeared any reason to expect an invasion. In this 
way the Germans were beneficial in protecting the region, for the mere 
knowledge of a regiment of armed militia, together with nearly two hun- 
dred thoroughly trained Mohawk warriors, and all under command of 
an officer so skillful as Sir William Johnson, had a subduing effect upon 
the ardor of the French and their savage Canadian allies. 

During the period of French and English rivalry in America, both 
powers derived a revenue by the sales, and also the more extensive 
" grants," of the lands in their domain. Each, however, required as a 
condition precedent to the full occupation and enjoyment of the territory 
that the Indian title .should first be extinguished by purchase or release. 
The French grants covered such tracts (mainly in the northern portion 
of New York) as were not included in English land charters, but with 
the final overthrow of French power in America the greater number of 
these were annulled, and the lands were afterward sold to British sub- 
jects, though a few of the original seigniories were confirmed to their 
proprietors through royal grace and clemency. 

The British power in the colony of New York had no real existence 
until after the conquest of the Dutch. In fact the grant to the Duke of 
York was not until 1664, a year only before the occupation of the New 
Netherlands. The introduction of this subject naturally leads to an ex- 
amination of the peculiar character of the grant of the province of New 



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CHARTERS OF NEW YORK AND PENNSYLVANIA. 57 

York, and those points in which it differs from almost all others on this 
continent, although they emanated chiefly from the same source. No 
better illustration of this difference can be made than by comparing the 
charters of Pennsylvania and New York. 

The former was granted to William Penn, in payment of a debt due 
his father, Admiral William Penn, from the British government. By 
that charter the fee in the province passed to the grantee, subject only 
to the Indian title, which Penn was determined to extinguish at his own 
cost. This having been done, the patentee was the absolute owner of 
the lands thus granted, and all emoluments were his own. Of similar 
character also was the charter by which in 1664 Charles II granted to 
his brother James, Duke of York and Albany, the vast territory which 
included all that is now the state of New York. The Duke of York, by 
that grant (and others of later date), became proprietor of the land, with 
the same rights and powers, and subject to the same conditions regard- 
ing Indian titles as William Penn, and the patents which were made to 
various sub- proprietors, either to favorites or for consideration, between 
1664 and 1685, by the duke, were made from the same relative position 
as Penn occupied during his proprietorship. In 1685, however, the 
Duke of York himself became king of Great Britain and as his charter 
naturally merged in the crown, the government of his possessions 
changed from a proprietary one to a " royal province." Instead of 
being governor of the colony, the king held the power of appointing 
that functionary, and then indirectly controlling its affairs, but still re- 
ceiving specified revenues from its land sales. 

Little was done in the way of granting lands in the province of New 
York earlier than the first quarter of the seventeenth century, although 
under t}ie duke's title some grants were made even before he became 
king. But after the year 1734, and particularly after the English and 
French were really contending for supremacy in America, the govern- 
ment disposed of much of the available territory of the province, and 
it is a noticeable fact that by far the greater part of the early land 
grants included portions of old Tryon county, though as yet the land 
of the Mohawks. An explanation of this is found in the fact that this 
region was under the special control of Sir William Johnson. His in- 
fluence among the Mohawk Indians is surprising to all who do not con- 

8 



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58 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTS. 

sider the relations that existed between himself and the red men, and 
the great value of the presents he made them. We know, indeed, that 
during the last score of years of Sir William's life the Mohawks were 
greatly dependent upon his bounty for their support, and under such 
circumstances we are not surprised to learn that for a merely nominal 
consideration he could induce them to part with such of their domain 
as he or his favorites desired to possess. It has been asserted that the 
baronet secured the Indian title to the immense tract known as the 
"Royal Grant" from King Hendrick as the result of a dream, but while 
many doubt this story its mere narration suggests the extraordinary in- 
fluence of Sir William over the Mohawk nation. According to the 
records the " Royal Grant," embracing ninety- three thousand acres of 
land lying between East and West Canada creeks and north of the Mo- 
hawk river, was patented to Sir Wilham Johnson by letters issued April 
1 6, 1765. King Hendrick was killed in September, 1755, ten years 
previously, and yet it may be true that the old chief released the Indian 
title long before his death, and the purchase thus made was confirmed 
by the king ten years afterward. 

The titles of many of the old land grants are still preserved and are 
occasionally referred to in modern conveyances. The reader will of 
course understand that all these grants were made prior to the rev- 
olution ; but though issued during the British dominion, many were 
afterward confirmed by the state authorities, while the other portion 
was confiscated and sold as the property of enemies. These persons 
were called tories, and though they did not in all cases bear arms against 
American independence, their conduct was sufficiently inimical to jus- 
tify confiscation. The most important instance of this kind was found 
in the vast manor of Johnson Hall, which was sold by the state, and was 
finally purchased by the ancestor of the present Wells family in whose 
possession it still remains. 

Beginning with the year 1735, and thence throughout the years 
down to the outbreak of the revolutionary war, there was granted to 
various individuals and companies an aggregate of more than three hun- 
dred square miles in what is now Fulton county and vicinity, and 
while of no special connection with the county's history it is still proper 
to briefly mention the various patents, since they arc important features 



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LAND PATENTS. 59 

in early progress. This task, however, is difficult, owing to the confused 
condition of the records, but an effort will be made to locate the tracts 
by town or county boundaries. 

The Kayaderosseras Patent ' was granted to Naning Heermanse and 
twelve others, November 2, 1708. Its extent was originally about 
700,000 acres, and included lands now in the towns of Amsterdam and 
Perth. This was the first royal patent that embraced lands in what is 
now Fulton county. 

The celebrated Stone Arabia Patent, granted to John Christian Gar- 
lack and twenty-six associates, October 19, 1723, and in extent 12,700 
acres, was situated in what afterward became Johnstown. 

Butler's Patent was granted to Walter Butler and three other pro- 
prietors, December 31, 173S, embracing 4,000 acres of land, situated 
in what are now the towns of Johnstown and Mohawk. 

The Mase Patent was issued to Jacob Mase and two Bleeckers, Oc- 
tober 17, 1 74 1, granting 6,000 acres of land in what is now the town of 
Northampton; a part of the so-called " Northampton Patent." 

The Sacandaga Patent was granted to Landert Gansevoort and oth- 
ers, December 2, 1741, including 28,000 acres of land situated in the 
towns of Johnstown, Perth, Mayfield and Broadalbin. This patent cov- 
ered the southeast portion of Johnstown and Mayfield, the southern 
part of Broadalbin, and the western and the northern portion of Perth. 
It was one of the largest patents of land in Fulton county. 

The Holland Patent was granted to Henry Holland, July 16, 1742, 
and included 1,250 acres of land in the eastern part of the present town 
of Northampton. 

The Schuyler Patent was granted to Cornelius Schuyler, July 16, 
1742, covering 1,300 acres of land in Northampton ; a part of the 
so-called Northampton Patent. 

The Stephens Patent, bearing the same date with the last mentioned^ 
was granted to Arent Stephens and included 1,200 acres of land in 
Northampton. 

The Collins Tract was patented to Edward Collins, July 16, 1742,. 
and covered 1,250 acres in Northampton. 

' A later chapter will refer to a disturbance among the Indians, growing out o£ frauds practiced, 
in obtaining their title to the lands of this patent. 



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6o HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

The four last mentioned patents — Holland, Schuyler, Stephens and 
Collins — were granted at the same time. They covered lands of the 
so-called Northampton Patent, and embraced 4,900 acres in the ag- 
gregate. 

The Kingsborough Patent was one of the most important, from a 
historical point of view, of all the patents in Fulton county, and its his- 
tory will be found in one of the later chapters of this work. It was 
granted to Arent Stephens (or Stevens), June 23, 1753, and included 
20,000 acres in the towns of Ephratah, Johnstown and Mayfield. 

The Klock Patent was issued to George Klock and fourteen others, 
December 21, 1754, and included i6,000 acres of land in the towns of 
Oppenheim and Ephratah ; the southern portion of each town. 

The Livingston Patent for lands in Fulton and Saratoga counties to 
Philip Livingston and nineteen associates, was issued November 8, 

1760, and included lands to the extent of 4,000 acres. 

The Lott Patent was granted to Abraham Lott and nineteen asso- 
ciates, September 16, 1761, and embraced 20,000 acres of land in the 
town's of Oppenheim, Ephratah and Stratford. 

Magin's Patent was issued to Sarah Magin and others, March 31, 

1 761, and included 26,000 acres of land in Oppenheim and Ephratah, 
being located about the center of the towns, and joining on the south 
the Lott patent or purchase. 

The Claus Patent was granted to Daniel Claus, son-in law of Sir 
William Johnson, September 29, 1770, and embraced within its bounds 
3,000 acres of land in the present town of Mayfield. 

The Glen Patents (and there were a number of them) were the prop- 
erty of John Glen, jr. They are supposed to have been granted August 
24, 1770, and embraced Fulton county lands in the towns of Stratford, 
Caroga, Bleecker and Broadalbin, while they also extended into what 
is now Saratoga county, being in the aggregate nearly 50,000 acres. 

McLeod's Patent, granted to Norman McLeod September 29, 1770, 
included 3,000 acres in the eastern part of Mayfield and the southwest 
part of Northampton. 

The Mayfield Patent was granted to Francis Beard and thirteen asso- 
ciates June 27. 1770, and included 14,000 acres in the present towns of 
Caroga, Bleecker and Mayfield. 



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Sm WILLIAM JOHNSON.. 6i 

The Robert's Patent, of which Benjamin Roberts was proprietor, was 
granted September 20, 1770, and included 2,000 acres in Mayfield and 
Northampton adjoining on the east the McLeod tract. 

The Van Rensselaer Patent, granted to Jeremiah Van Rensselaer Oc- 
tober 4, 1744, embraced 28,964 acres of land, most of which is sup- 
posed to have been situated in Northampton. 

Besides the specific and definite grants mentioned, there were numer- 
ous others of varied extent, which cannot be defined with accuracy. 
Among these may be mentioned the Bergen purchase, comprising thir- 
teen lots in Fulton and Hamilton counties; the Haring Patent, in the 
central part of Broadalbin, but there appears no record of their extent 
or date of record; the Stringer Patent or purchase, covering 1,350 
acres in the town of Broadalbin, was granted November 26, 1785, to 
Samuel Stringer, under the authority of the state of New York. In 
this respect the Stringer Patent differed from all others named in this 
•chapter, as each of the number was granted during the British dominion. 
The Stringer Patent therefore has the distinction of being the first 
granted by the sovereign state of New York. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

SIR WILLIAM JOHNSON, BARONET — A CONDENSED HISTORY OF THE 
LIFE OF THE FOUNDER OF JOHNSTOWN. 

HAVING made frequent reference to that remarkable man known 
first as William Johnson, land agent ; then as Colonel Johnson ; 
later as General Johnson, and finally as Sir William, we now propose a 
brief review of the leading events of his life, though we shall hardly ex- 
pect to do justice to the most eminent character in the civil and mili- 
tary record of the province of New York. Sir William will also come 
under our notice when treating of the history of Johnstown, and hence 
we shall here be limited to a mere outline of his illustrious career, our 
information being drawn from the most reliable authority. 



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62 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

William Johnson, the son of Christopher and Anne (Warren) John- 
son, was born in County Down, Ireland, in the year 1715. His uncle. 
Sir Peter Warren, had married an American woman, and became pos- 
sessed of an extensive tract of land in the Mohawk valley. It contained 
14,000 acres (originally granted in 1735 to Charles Williams), and 
located between the Mohawk and Schoharie rivers, in what is now the 
town of Florida, Montgomery county. In 1738 William Johnson came 
hither to serve as superintendent of this estate, whose development was 
of great importance to its proprietor, since the purchase was a specula- 
tion from which he had great hope of financial profit. With this view 
young Johnson, under the direction of his uncle, cleared part of the 
land, putting it under cultivation, and also surveyed the entire tract, 
dividing it in a manner that would attract settlers of limited means. An 
important feature in this work was the erection of a mill. He also 
established himself in trade, a store being necessary to public conven- 
ience, and thus extended every inducement that could assist the new 
settlement. Later on, in view of the hostility between the British and 
French, and as well between the Iroquois Indians and their savage 
enemies in Canada, he erected a fortress which was called " Fort John- 
son," on whose site Fort Hunter was afterward built. This was his 
home for several years, and from this point all his business operations 
were extended ; but while doing full justice to his patron he omitted no 
opportunity to advance his personal interests, and early won that repu- 
tation for fair dealing which was always so prominent a feature in his 
character. 

Such a life could not but render the young land agent familiar with 
the Indians. He adapted himself to their habits and language, and had 
their confidence and enduring friendship. His intercourse with the Mo- 
hawks rendered him popular with the entire Six Nations, who thence- 
forth regarded him as their friend and protector. As a result he had no 
difficulty in acquiring Indian titles to such land as he desired, and he 
was also serviceable to his friends in procuring similar favors. To such 
a degree was this acquisition extended that at the time of his death he 
was the owner of various tracts in the country of the Mohawks, and also 
in other western nations of the confederacy, to the enormous extent of 
more than 173,000 acres. 



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S/Ji WILLIAM JOHNSON. 67, 

The young land agent, like most adventurers, was unmarried, but he 
soon employed a housekeeper, a comely German girl, named Catherine 
Wisenberg, whom he afterward married.^ She became the mother of 
three children, one son (John) and two daughters, one of whom became 
the wife of his nephew, Col. Guy Johnson, and the other the wife of 
Col. Daniel Claus. After the death of his wife, the precise date of 
which is unknown, Johnson, who had then become colonel, took as 
housekeeper Molly Brant, sister of Joseph Brant, the famous Mohawk 
chief She bore him eight children, each of whom was abundantly pro- 
vided for in the baronet's will ; but as his entire estate was afterward 
confiscated and sold, none of his heirs ever possessed their inheritance. 

It was not until George Clinton ^ became the governor of the province 
of New York that this " Mr. Johnson " became at all prominent in pub- 
lic affairs. He had been previously occupied with the details of busi- 
ness, but with Governor Clinton he seems to have formed an intimate 
friendship. About this time (1742) he moved from the Warren tract 
to the north side of the Mohawk river, locating at a place named by 
him " Mount Johnson," where he erected a substantial stone mansion, 
now owned and occupied by Ethan Akin. In 1745 Johnson was ap- 
pointed one of the justices of the peace of Albany county, an appoint- 
ment which was the recognition of services among the Indians, holding 
the latter firm in their allegiance, and thus counteracting their prefer- 
ence of the French standard, a natural result of the Jesuit influence. 

So highly appreciated, indeed, were these services that in 1746 he 
was appointed superintendent of Indian affairs in the entire province, a 
duty which extended through a vast territory. He had, however, be- 
come so well known to all the Iroquois that he had their confidence 
and was really the object of their admiration, a natural result of his 
uniform honesty as well as decision of character. Such indeed was his 
popularity that the Mohawks adopted him into their nation, making 
him a chief with the title Warre-haha. Four years later (1750) opposi- 
tion was created against Colonel Johnson. He was falsely accused of 

' This marriage ceremony was performed by Mr. Barkley, the Episcopal minister residing at Port 
Hunter, where he officiated in the stone church built by direction of Queen Anne for the Mohawk 
Indians— Ka/M. 

2 This Governor Clinton was not the George Clinton who becrme our Governor during the revo- 
lution, and the similarity of name therefore requires explanation. 



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64 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNT'S. 

using his influence for selfish ends, and while this charge was never 
sustained, it so embarrassed him that he resigned the superintendency 
of Indian affairs ; nor would he again accept the office when subse- 
quently requested to resume its duties, until he yielded to Braddock's 
solicitation. 

The title of " Colonel Johnson "^ first appears in 1746 in the corres- 
pondence which he held with Governor Clinton, and soon afterward he 
was ordered to organize the militia for frontier defense. In obedience 
to this commission he formed the Germans and other settlers into 
militia companies; and thus the former land agent, now known as 
" Colonel Johnson," having this force under his command, together 
with his Indian allies, established a formidable barrier against the so 
dreaded French invasions. 

In 1750 Colonel Johnson received a still higher honor, being appointed 
a member of the governor's council, a body whose decisions controlled 
the highest public interests. His opinions in its deliberations had a 
peculiar value because of his familiarity with Indian affairs, and here he 
proved eminently useful. As an acknowledgment of the services, and 
also as a compensation for advances and expenditures made for the 
public benefit among the Indians, Colonel Johnson was voted by the 
council a belt of land two miles in width surrounding Onondaga lake, 
and including, of course, the site of Syracuse, whose salt springs had 
even then attracted attention. 

We now reach that interval of almost peaceful nature which preceded 
the last struggle between the French and the British, and Colonel 
Johnson improved this opportunity to advance the welfare of his estates, 
which were rapidly increasing in extent as well as value ; but he also 
found time to elevate the condition of those around him, and especially 
to promote the civilization and education of his Indian dependencies. 
He became a patron of the mission schools and placed Joseph Brant, 
then one of the most promising Mohawk youth, at the Indian school in 
Lebanon, Conn. His prominence in public affairs, however, continued, 
for he, like all others of prophetic ken, foresaw the approaching crisis. 

Jealousy is the inevitable penalty of public service, and the commis- 
sioners of Indian affairs were envious of his influence among the Iro- 

' Johnson's Indian name is differently given in a preceding chapter. 



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SIR WILLIAM JOHNSON. 65 

quois. The Indians, too, became discontented and inclined to rebel 
against the power that restrained them ; they called loudly for the re- 
instatement of their old superintendent, and King Hendrick and his 
brother Abraham were clamorous in this respect. In obedience to this 
request Johnson about this time submitted a report to the governor on 
the government of the Six Nations, with suggestions for observance. 
He also placed the militia of the province in condition for active ser- 
vice. 

In 1755 the final conflict for supremacy in America was begun be- 
tween England and France ; and immediately we find Colonel Johnson 
foremost in every military expedition. How signally he distinguished 
himself when disaster came to the British arms in every other quarter, 
is brilliantly recorded on the page of history. On the earnest invita- 
tion of General Braddock, he attended the military conference at Alex- 
andria, where he received command both of the provincial militia and 
the warriors of the Six Nations in the expedition against Crown Point, 
his rank being major-general. Braddock also induced Johnson to serve 
as superintendent of Indian affairs, with sole power and commissioning 
hrm to treat with the confederate nations in order to unite them in sup- 
port of British interests. This investment of authority was followed by a 
grand council at Mount Johnson, and the long sought alliance was accom- 
plished ; but when General Johnson marched for Lake George the jeal- 
ousy of Governor Shirley prompted him to use every means to discredit 
Johnson, and even to attempt to win from him the friendship of the 
Mohawks in order to rally them under his own standard. 

Having previously described the expedition against Crown Point, it 
is sufficient here to state that it was only through the timely arrival 
and persistent efforts of General Johnson that victory was secured. 
Early in the battle which decided the fate of war, he was wounded' 
and was obliged to retire from the field, but while succeeded by Gen- 
eral Lyman, he still in part directed the action — and yet notwithstand- 
ing its grand success, he incurred censure for neglecting to attack the 
the French fort at Crown Point, which some thought might have been 
captured easily, as the enemy was too severely beaten to make a suc- 

' General Johnson was wounded in the hips, from which he was ever afterward a constant suf- 
ferer, and no doubt the injuries received in this campaign did much to shorten his life. 

9 



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66 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

cessful defence. Instead of doing this Johnson erected Fort William 
Henry at the head of Lake George, but whatever may have been the 
truth of the above mentioned censure, it is evident that the public was 
in approval of Johnson's conduct, and congratulations were freely be- 
stowed both by the province and the crown. The former tendered him 
an ovation and public reception in New York city, while the latter made 
him a baronet, and he was thenceforth known as " Sir William." 

Parliament also voted him thanks for his victory, and a more substan- 
tial reward was added in the handsome gift of five thousand pounds. 
These gratuities were followed by a commission as "Colonial Agent, and 
sole Superintendent of all the affairs of the Six Nations and other 
Northern Indians." 

The last mentioned appointment was the source of much gratification 
to all the Indians and especially to the Mohawks. About this time, 
1756, the Pennsylvania Indians became hostile to the colonists, and the 
superintendent was called upon to prevent violence. Several confer- 
ences were held, and though serious trouble was threatened, it was 
averted by this timely intervention. 

Sir William now sufTered much from his wound, and this increased 
the burden of public affairs, but when he was called upon to support 
Webb at German Flats he responded promptly and witnessed the dis- 
tress of that cowardly officer on learning of the fall of Oswego. The 
next year he joined the army under Abercrombie, having in his com- 
mand the organized militia of the Mohawk valley, and also his faithful 
Indian allies, but the inefficiency of the commander-in-chief prevented 
his engaging the enemy — a service which he had earnestly requested. 
Disaster at this time attended public affairs, and in addition to those 
which befell the army in the Champlain valley,. came the destruction of 
Palatine village, occurring at a time when Sir William was confined to his 
bed by sickness. As soon, however, as returning health permitted he 
reorganized his militia for active service and marched to the scene of 
conflict. 

An army was sent against Fort Niagara in 1759, under command of 
Prideaux, but as he was slain at an early time in the siege, Sir William 
succeeded him, and having defeated the attempt to relieve the beleagured 
garrison, he eventually secured a signal victory. This campaign being 



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S/J? WILLIAM yOHNSON. 67 

ended he returned to Fort Johnson , and it may be added that the vic- 
tories which marked this year really brought the French dominion in 
America to a close, though three years elapsed before tlie terms of peace 
were specified by treaty. This pacific interval enabled Sir William to 
attend to his personal affairs, which had suffered much for want of care. 
As has been mentioned, he had acquired large landed estates, having 
purchased from the original patentees many desirable tracts, among 
which was included what afterward became the township of Johnstown. 
Impressed with its eligibility, he founded a settlement on this spot, 
though a year or more elapsed before marked progress was made in 
colonization. This work was also retarded by the campaign of 1760, 
when he with his Mohawk warriors was summoned to the aid of General 
Amherst in his movement against the now weakened French positions 
in the Champlain valley. Serious Indian troubles also occurred next 
year in the northwest, and his presence as superintendent was required 
to pacify the savages and to secure an amicable settlement of difficulties. 
This duty required a journey to far distant Detroit, which Sir William, 
notwithstanding his infirmities, undertook and accomplished, being 
accompanied by his son John, and his nephew, Guy Johnson. On the 
return journey the baronet was again prostrated by illness and was 
obliged to remain several days at Niagara before he could resume his 
homeward route. 

Peace being now proclaimed, and the Indian troubles practically settled. 
Sir William once more devoted himself to his personal interests In 
1762 he induced one hundred families to move into his settlement where 
now stands the village of Johnstown; and, as an additional bounty, he 
gave the Lutherans and Presbyterians each fifty acres of land as a glebe 
for pastoral support. Previously to this he had erected a summer resi- 
dence on the northwestern border of the great vlaie, in the present 
town of Broadalbin, to which he gave the dignified name of Castle Cum- 
berland. He also built a lodge on the south bank of the Sacandaga, in 
what is now the town of Northampton, where he was accustomed to re- 
sort during the fishing season ; and the spot even to the present retains 
its early name, the " Fish House." Agriculture and stock raising also 
shared his attention, and to improve the breed of domestic animals he 
brought blooded sheep and horses into his settlement. 



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68 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

Public affairs, however, soon again required his attention, this being 
occasioned by a disaffection among the Indians in Pennsylvania, and 
grievances inflicted on the Mohawks, who justly complained that their 
lands had been withheld or invaded by the settlers. Such complaints 
were familiar to Sir William, who readily brought the troubles to a satis- 
factory close, and the Indians again learned that they had no wiser and 
firmer friend than the baronet. The treaty at Easton was made and 
confirmed, and Sir William returned to Mount Johnson, where soon 
afterward (1762) his daughter Nancy was married to Col. Daniel Claus, 
The remainder of the year was occupied by the baronet in preparing his 
timber and other material to be used in the construction of Johnson 
Hall, an elegant baronial mansion, completed in 1763, and thenceforth 
his dwelling until the close of his life. This building still stands within 
the limits of the village of Johnstown, and will be more particularly de- 
scribed in the history of that place. It may, however, be added inci- 
dentally that the settlers brought to this spot were chiefly Germans, 
while nearly four miles east he likewise settled a colony of Scotch High- 
landers, who were also his dependents and faithful followers. They 
occupied the region until the revolutionary war, and then, by reason of 
their allegiance to Sir John Johnson, many of them fled to their pro- 
tector and found refuge in Canada. 

But even within the quiet and retirement of Johnson Hall, surrounded 
by faithful friends and devoted servants. Sir William Johnson found no 
permanent peace from the cares of public life and service, for no sooner 
had he arranged for his own comfort than there came mutterings of an- 
other outbreak, followed soon afterward by open warfare against the 
rapidly advancing settlements of the English and American pioneers. 
Pontiac's war threatened not only the safety of the frontiers, but as well 
the interior settlements whose destruction was planned. The wrath of 
many western Indian tribes had become aroused and their emissaries 
visited the Six Nations, hoping that they also would be persuaded to 
take up the hatchet. The situation at once became alarming, and prompt 
and decisive action was required. Public peril thus called the baronet 
from his comfortable home. His energies were directed to the confed- 
erate nations, and as the result of his negotiations all the tribes promised 
friendship with the exception of the Senecas, who, after much persuasion. 



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SIR WILLIAM JOHNSON. 69 

agreed to neutrality. By this treaty, which was a renewed proof of the 
wonderful influence of the baronet, the frontier and also the colonies of 
New York and New England were well protected, inasmuch as be- 
tween them and the exasperated savages lay the country of the Iro- 
quois — a secure barrier which no foe dare pass. Other measures for 
defence were also prosecuted, for Sir William did not depend upon the 
red man's promise, unsupported by his own efforts. The militia were 
stationed at convenient points, ready for action if required. Pontiac's In- 
dians required vigilant watching since they bore a special hatred against 
Sir William, chiefly because of his influence over the Iroquois, and hence 
they determined upon his destruction. The baronet, however, became 
aware of their murderous purpose and therefore armed his tenantry and 
surrounded Johnson Hall with a strong stockade. His greatest safety, 
however, lay in the protection freely offered by his faithful Mohawk 
warriors, and fortunately, during Pontiac's war, the New York settle- 
ments were unmolested. 

For two years next preceding the close of the year 1765 there was 
continual commotion among the Indians of the western frontier, and 
the baronet found his whole energies required in either fitting out ex- 
peditions to repel invasions and punish outrages or in negotiating peace 
treaties. In 1764 he held a grand council at Niagara, whose most im- 
portant result was the Senecas ceding to the British government a tract 
four miles wide on each side of the Niagara River, and extending from 
Lake Ontario to Lake Erie. They additionally granted to the baronet 
all the islands in the same river, which he, in turn, ceded to the crown. 
At the same time Sir William was greatly disturbed by events other 
than those relating to Indian affairs. The patentees who had purchased 
lands of the crown on the promise to satisfy the Indian titles had been 
guilty of many unjust dealings, and had succeeded in trapping the un- 
tutored natives into land conveyances without adequate compensation. 
The owners sought to occupy and settle under these patents, and their 
dishonesty became known to the Mohawks, who, finding themselves 
thus defrauded, became deeply indignant. A similar animosity spread 
throughout the Six Nations, and renewed disaster was threatened. 

The chief cause of this wide spread discontent was created by the 
granting of the patent of Kayaderosseras, an act permitted by the crown 



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7° 



HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 



and sanctioned by the provincial government. Its proprietors repre- 
sented to the Indians that the land sought to be obtained by them would 
include in extent only enough to make a small farm, and they released 
for a nominal consideration ; in fact the patent included the great amount 
of about 700,000 acres, and the fraud was not discovered until the deed 
of cession had been made. Parts of Montgomery and Fulton counties 
were included by the patent, as will be seen by reference to the previous 
chapter. Through the efforts of Sir William the Mohawks were restored 
to a part of their lands, and so far as possible he rectified the great 
wrong which they had suffered ; but in this attempt he was opposed by 
powerful political influences exerted by the proprietors, and no small 
amount of both time and effort was required to accomplish the much 
desired result. 

The adverse influences which constantly beset the baronet in the prov- 
ince operated in other modes of injury. He had earnestly espoused the 
cause of the Indians, being indeed their official protector, therefore re- 
ports of his impending removal were circulated. The unscrupulous pro- 
prietors justly considered him an obstacle in the way of their nefarious 
designs. That hoped for removal, however, was never accomplished ; 
on the contrary Sir William's influence increased, and he was soon grati- 
fied by the news that his son John, who was then in England, had been 
knighted by the king. This was conclusive proof of the royal confidence 
in the baronet's ability and integrity. During the same year (1766) Sir 
William built a grist-mill for the benefit of his tenants; gave personal 
attention to the erection of an Episcopal church at Schenectady; fitted 
up at his own expense a Masonic lodge room at Johnson Hall, and built 
commodious stone dwellings for his sons-in-law, Guy Johnson and Daniel 
Claus, to each of which he added the gift of a square mile of land. The 
mansion and estate of Guy Johnson is now included in the suburbs of 
Amsterdam, and has long been known as "Guy Park" ; that of Colonel 
Claus was located about midway from Mount Johnson to the Park. 
Sir John, who at first lived with his father, soon left Johnson Hall and 
having married Miss Mary Watts, of New York city, on June 29, 1773, 
they began housekeeping at Mount Johnson. 

The restoration of peace again enabled the baronet to give attention 
to his much neglected business affairs. He devoted himself to the de- 



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SIR WILLIAM JOHNSON. 71 

velopmcnt of the estate at the Hall, and also to the improvement of his 
tenantry, while the educational and spiritual welfare of his Mohawk de- 
pendents had a full share in his efforts. Some indeed of those once 
savage warriors had become thrifty and successful farmers, and Sir Will- 
iam gave them every possible encouragement. He also built a church 
at Canajoharic for their use and supplied their school with a teacher. 
It was at this time of usefulness that the king, in recognition of his emi- 
nent service, granted to him the immense tract called the " Royal Grant," 
lying between East and West Canada creeks. Its extent was 69,000 acres, 
and it included the site of Little Falls and part of the village of Her- 
kimer. 

In 1 77 1 Johnstown had become a thriving and prosperous business 
center, and all through the Mohawk valley settlements were increasing 
with marked improvement in agriculture. Johnstown soon required 
new streets, for during the year 1770, eighty families had come there to 
live. Lumber for building was supplied from the baronet's mill, and 
other necessaries were furnished through his bounty. In March, 1771, 
he built St. John's church, commonly called the " Stone Church," and 
in the same month advertised in the New York papers for a teacher for 
the free school which he had established. 

Notwithstanding, however, the apparent peace and prosperity that 
prevailed on every hand, the baronet was seriously troubled both in 
body and mind. He was afflicted by a serious malady and every 
remedy failed to restore health. In addition to personal ailment was that 
■dark cloud which he saw gathering in the political horizon. He well 
knew its cause, and evidently forecast the inevitable result. The mother 
country had burdened the colonies with oppressive measures which 
taxed both their means and patience beyond endurance. Long years 
of experience in public life had made Sir William conversant with the 
needs as well as the capacity of the country, and also with the temper- 
ament of the people. He beheld the public grievances, yet was power- 
less to remove the burden. A servant of the crown, as well as its bene- 
ficiary, he was a sad and silent observer of all that occurred, and his 
unerring judgment told him at once that a rupture with Great Britain 
was inevitable. He did not, however, live to participate in the conflict 
that followed these premonitory signs and which ended in national inde- 
pendence and the creation of the republic of the United States. 



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72 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

Previous to this important event, Sir William became an active factor 
in the organization of two new counties, being in this movement the 
counselor of Governor Tryon, then chief executive of the province. The 
plan and petition for dividing Albany county was first suggested in 
1769, but the bill for that purpose was opposed and defeated. In 1772 
another petition was sent to the legislature by Sir William, and after a 
brief delay he was gratified to learn that the bill had become a law. 
This subject will be more fully discussed in one of the later chapters of 
this work, and yet a brief allusion to it at the present time is appro- 
priate. 

The original county of Albany was created in 1683 and was con- 
firmed in 1691, but its jurisdiction then included the entire province of 
New York, together with that disputed territory then called the " New 
Hampshire Grants," but now part of Vermont. The bill which was 
passed in 1772 divided Albany county and created three counties — 
Albany, Tryon and Charlotte. Tryon included all that part of the 
province west of the Delaware river, and a line extending thence north 
through what is now Schoharie county, and along the east line of Mont- 
gomery, Fulton and Hamilton counties, and continuing in a straight 
line to Canada. Charlotte county included the New Hampshire grants 
north of the north lines of the towns of Arlington and Sunderland in 
Vermont, and a continuation of that line west to the Tryon county line. 
The remainder of New York, with part of Vermont, constituted Albany 
county. 

Sir William lived to see this organization completed. In fact he was 
not only one of its originators but designated its temporary officers, 
nominated those who were elected by the people and controlled its af- 
fairs during his lifetime. Johnstown was designated the county seat. 
The court-house and jail were built the same year, the first term of 
court being held in September. The baronet also, at the suggestion of 
the governor, divided the new county into provisional districts, or 
townships as they would now be called. 

During 1772 Governor Tryon, accompanied by his wife, visited Sir 
William's palatial home, the ostensible object being to hold a council 
with the Mohawks, but in reality it was to learn what might be the most 
desirable lands in that region, for the worthy governor had a desire to 



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SIJi WILLIAM JOHNSON. 73 

speculate. During his stay, however, he reviewed the various regi- 
ments of troops under Sir William's command — three in number, one 
being composed of residents of Johnstown and its vicinity. In recog- 
nition of Sir William's services in organizing so eft'ective a body of mi- 
litia, Governor Tryon soon honored him with a commission as major- 
general of the northern department, a position he held during the 
remainder of his life. 

From this time until 1774 we have a quiet interval, but in the last 
mentioned year Indian troubles again demanded the attention of the 
superintendent, arising from a revolt in Pennsylvania, which seriously 
threatened the peace of the Six Nations. Johnson, although unfitted 
for such duty by reason of illness, consented to hold a council at the 
Hall. Six hundred of the confederates were present, and the baronet 
addressed the chiefs and sachems for two hours, all the time being ex- 
posed to the burning heat of a July sun. The exertion required by 
such an effort produced a fit, from which he died the next day — July 
II, 1774. "His funeral," says a reliable authority, "was the most 
solemn demonstration the colonies up to that time had ever witnessed. 
The clergyman in attendance was Rev. Mr. Stewart, missionary at Fort 
Hunter, and the funeral procession numbered more than two thousand, 
including colonial dignitaries and Indians, who were bereaved of a life- 
loner friend. He was buried in a vault erected beneath the floor of St. 
John's church for the family, but he was the only one of the number 
who ever occupied it " 

Sir William, six months before his death, had prepared a will dis- 
posing of his property and estate, by which he made abundant provis- 
ions for the children born to him by Catharine Wisenberg and Molly 
Brant, and also to other beneficiaries, but his principal devisee was his 
son. Sir John, who inherited the estate at Johnstown with other vast 
tracts of land, and to whom also descended the influence and power 
exercised by the baronet over the Six Nations One especial injunction 
in Sir William's will clearly indicated the true character of the testator ; 
it really revealed his heart : " I do earnestly recommend to my son to 
show lenity to such of the tenants as are poor ; an upright conduct with 
all mankind, which will on reflection afford more satisfaction to a noble 
and generous mind than the greatest opulence." But the will of the 
10 



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74 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

baronet, although elaborately prepared and legally signed and witnessed, 
was never executed. 

Had Sir William lived it is confidently believed he would have es- 
poused the cause of the colonies against the mother country, in which 
event one of the most magnificent estates in the country would have 
been confirmed to him ; but his successors, and particularly his son. 
Sir John, allied themselves to the British, and as a result the estate was 
confiscated and sold for the public benefit. 

While Sir John Johnson succeeded to the baronial estate of his father, 
and also as far as possible to his influence among the Indians, the office 
of superintendent of Indian affairs was committed to Col. Guy Johnson, 
assisted by Col. Daniel Claus, the latter having previously been deputy 
superintendent. 



CHAPTER IX. 



Situation in Tryon County from the Close of tlie French War to the Revolution — 
British Oppression Causes Discontent — The Stamp Act — Duties Levied on other Com- 
modities — The Boston Tea Party — First Congress at Philadelphia — Nevs^ York Opposes 
the Action of Congress — Districts of Tryon County — Gruy Johnson Disperses the 
Meeting at Caughnav^aga — Attack upon Jacob Sammons-- Action of Loyalists — 
G-uy Park Fortified — General Meeting of the Tryon County Committee — Its Object — 
Guy Johnson Departs for Canada — Conduct of Sir John — He Fortifies the Hall and 
Arms the Highlanders — His Arrest, Parole and Flight to Canada— The Estate Confiscat- 
ed — Character and Duties of the Committees of Safety. 

r^'HE years immediately preceding the revolution were filled with 
important events connected with the history of old Tryon county, 
in no part of which was there a greater diversity of sentiment than in 
that which afterwards became Fulton county, for which reason the 
present chapter must be general rather than local in its character. 

The political situation in Tryon county during the revolution and for 
some years previous was at once novel and interesting, since it included 
influences politically antagonistic, while socially there was no Jinimosity 
among the pioneers, and good will and friendship prevailed on every hand. 



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ENGLISH OPPRESSION OF THE COLONIES. 75 

The settlements founded by the direct influence of Sir William in the 
Mohawk valley, and even extending northward to the spurs of the 
Adirondacks, were entirely under his control durmg his life and their 
militia was under his orders ; his death, however, and the succession 
of his son (so far as it was possible for the latter to succeed him) caused 
a marked change in political events, one indeed which created not only 
a division of sentiment but in many instances the rupture of friendship. 
Had Sir William lived a few years longer his love of America might 
have led him to espouse her cause, and many think his policy indicated 
such a purpose, but Sir John and his brothers-in-law, Guy Johnson 
and Daniel Claus, were creatures of the king, having no sentiment in 
common with the people. 

Continuing this inquiry into the condition of public matters we are led 
to examine the prevailing causes of the above mentioned division, both 
in sentiment and action, and it also occasions a review of those events 
which precipitated the war. A careful examination of the Mohawk 
valley at the time referred to leads to the conviction that the patriots 
were strongly in the majority. The taxation to which the colonies were 
subjected by the mother country really began almost as far back as the 
time of the overthrow of the- Dutch power in America, for it seems to 
have been the king's determination to make them self- supporting, 
which was more than their due share toward national greatness. The 
burden of debt was then very heavy on Great Britian, but it was 
chiefly created by the wars in which she engaged on her own side of the 
Atlantic. Thatportion, however, incurred by the wars on this continent 
she proposed to be paid by the colonies, notwithstanding the great 
increase of her domain through those wars. The time, however, arrived 
when tame submission to such measures could no longer be endured. 
The colonists themselves were heavily burdened with the expenses of 
the late French war, which resulted so favorably to England, yet almost 
before the smoke of the battles had cleared away, the ministry began 
devising plans to tax them without asking their consent. In 1764 a 
proposition was submitted to the House of Commons for raising revenue 
in the colonies by the sale of stamps, and a bill to that effect was passed 
in March, 1765. It was bitterly denounced by the colonies, especially 
in New York, and the " Sons of Liberty " were organized in opposition 



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7 6 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

to the obnoxious law. This organization was closely watched by Sir 
William, who, as he could not but be conscious of the rectitude of their 
motives, made no public opposition. 

So great, indeed, was the popular indignation that parliament finally 
repealed the act, but this was done more to satisfy English tradesmen 
than to relieve a distressed people ; and in its place were enacted other 
oppressive laws, one of which required the province to pay for support- 
ing the British soldiery in New York city. The colonial assembly 
refused to comply with the demand, and parliament in retaliation 
annulled its legislative powers. 

In 1767 a bill was passed by parliament imposing a duty on tea, glass, 
lead, paper and painters' colors imported by the colonies This re- 
newed the oppositions, and in the following year the Massachusetts 
assembly addressed a circular letter to the sister colonies soliciting their 
assistance in defending the common liberties; more retaliation followed, 
for the ministry was so wrathful that a letter was sent to each of the 
colonial governors forbidding the assemblies to correspond with Massa- 
chusetts. This mandate, however, was ignored and the New York 
assembly accompanied its disobedience with declarations of inherent 
rights, together with denunciations of parliament, and the people sus- 
tained their representatives and returned most of them to the new 
assembly of 1769. 

In 1770 Lord Dunmore succeeded Colden as governor and brought 
with him royal approval of the act authorizing the issue of colonial bills 
of credit. The duties had, meanwhile, been removed from all articles 
except tea, and colonial affairs for a time moved more smoothly, but on 
July 18, 1771, William Tryon became governor, and soon afterward 
the old difficulties were again renewed. The East India Company, 
conscious of the injustice in placing a duty on tea, tried to have the 
latter removed, but in vain, for the ministry still adhered to its boasted 
right to tax the colonies. This was soon followed by the destruction of 
a cargo of tea sent to Boston, a thrilling event which has ever been 
known in history as the " Boston Tea Party." The ministry, whose 
rage was still more excited by this bold defiance, again retaliated by 
closing the port of Boston against all commerce — an outrage which 
awoke national indignation. Public meetings were held for the consid- 



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SIR yoHN yoHNSOJsrs schemes. 77 

eration of common grievances, and among the plans suggested for 
mutual protection was the assembhng of a colonial congress. 

The " Continental Congress " (as it has ever been termed) was held at 
Philadelphia in September, 1774, and having adopted a declaration of 
rights, it added a petition to the king and an appeal to the people of 
Great Britain and Canada. The New York assembly was the only one 
that did not sanction these proceedings; instead of which it addressed 
a remonstrance to parliament, which was, of course, treated with dis- 
dain.i 

Let us now return to the county of Tryon and mark how these 
measures affected the people, and how they co operated for the com- 
mon weal. Let us also remember that Tryon county was then a new 
<;reation, named in honor of the governor, but young as it was it dis- 
played a full degree of power. The enormous extent of the county led 
to its division into five districts, the first, beginning at the east, was the 
Mohawk district, and embraced Fort Hunter, Caughnawaga, Johnstown 
and Kingsboro ; next was Canajoharie district, embracing the present 
town of that name, with all the country south, including Cherry Valley 
and Harpersfield ; third was Palatine district, north of the river, and in- 
cluding the settlement known by the same name, together with Stone 
Arabia, and its immediate precinct ; fourth was German Flats and 
Kingsland with other western settlements. 

It will be seen from this settlement that the Mohawk district included 
the territory of the present Fulton county. A large portion of the 
people were zealous and earnest in the cause of the colonists, and were 
open in their approval of the proceedings of the continental congress, 
but on the other hand, this district contained Sir John Johnson, who, 
having succeeded to his father's military title (though never to his 
popularity and influence), warmly supported the British side of the con- 
troversy. In carrying out this policy Sir John was seconded by Guy 
Johnson and Daniel Claus, whose efforts were directed to the complete 
alienation of the Indians from the Whig colonists, and also to awing into 
submission all of the settlers that might yield to their influence. This 

' On the 12th of January, 1775, at a cabinet council, it was declared that there was nothing in the 
proceedings of Congress that afforded any basis for an honorable reconciliation. It was therefore 
resolved to break off all commerce with the Americans ; to protect the loyalists in the colonies 
and to declare all others to be traitors and Tebs\%.—Lossmg. 



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78 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTS. 

attempt, however, did not succeed to any considerable extent, though 
the immediate dependents and tenants on the Johnson estate were kept 
in subjection. The Mohawks of course were friendly to the crown, for 
they loved too well the father to oppose his son. Prominent among 
them were the notorious leaders, John and Walter Butler, and also the 
chief, Joseph Brant, all of whom became infamous from their bloody 
deeds during the revolution, and yet their pillage and slaughter was 
generally ascribed to the instigation of the Johnsons. 

Sir John and his fellow loyalists did not limit their schemes to Tryon 
county ; they sent emissaries to the Six Nations and all other Indians 
within their reach, the object being to induce them to take up the hatchet 
against the Americans. In this effort they were too successful, for all 
except the Oneidas and a few other friendly Indians joined the British. 
The tory sentiment, however, that was so general in the Mohawk district 
did not prevail throughout the county, and this was especially true of 
the Germans in the Palatine district, whose patriotic zeal corresponded 
with the worth of the cause, and whose example had an inspiring in- 
fluence throughout the entire region. They were proof against the 
machinations of the Johnsons and the still more seductive influence of 
British gold. 

One of the first mass-meetings of the Whigs in Tryon county was 
held at Caughnawaga, soon after the opening of congress, its purpose 
being to express public approval of the policy pursued by the colonies 
and to adopt such measures as might be required by the common weal. 
On this occasion the animosity of Sir John and his associates was fully 
manifested, for no sooner had the proceedings begun, than he appeared 
on the ground with Guy Johnson, Colonel Claus, Butler and a crowd of 
retainers, armed with swords and firearms. Guy Johnson acted as 
speaker for the tories. Mounting a high stoop, he addressed the throng 
(which included about 300 patriots) setting forth the power of the crown 
and the weakness of the colonies. In the course of his speech he so 
incensed Jacob Sammons, son of the pioneer Sampson Sammons, that 
the latter retorted with epithets of "liar and villain." Enraged at this 
response the tory colonel leaped down and struck the offender a blow 
which felled him to the ground. Recovering consciousness, young 
Sammons found one of Johnson's servants sitting astride his body, but 



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MUTTERINGS OF HOSTILITY. 79 

the latter was quickly thrown off and the quarrel renewed. Jacob re- 
ceived further injuries, pistols were pointed at his breast, he was again 
knocked down, and finally was compelled to retire and departed for his 
father's house, the place being long known as Sammonsville. 

The foregoing incident correctly illustrates the feelings entertained by 
Sir John Johnson toward the people of the valley who differed with his 
opinions and interests ; and while his retainers in the Mohawk district 
numbered more than a thousand persons (including settlers and Indians), 
his influence never extended beyond them, nor were his views respected 
in such parts of the county as were less subject to his power. 

The proceedings of the Continental Congress held in Philadelphia in 
the spring of 1775 naturally surprised and even alarmed this boastful 
tory, and he determined to counteract their influence so far as possible, 
and at the same time to convince the crown of his unshaken allegiance. 
Accordingly, at a court held in Johnstown in the spring, " a declara- 
tion was drawn up and circulated by the loyalists of Tryon county, in 
which they avowed their opposition to the measures adopted by con- 
gress." Some debate and warm discussion followed this refractory 
measure, but the document was signed by most of the grand jury and 
nearly all the magistrates ; a very natural thing indeed, for the power 
of the county was fully controlled by the Johnson interest. 

The influence of the Johnsons, as has been mentioned, was chiefly 
limited to the Mohawk district; and no sooner had their conduct be- 
come known throughout the country than meetings were held in other 
localities, notably in the Palatine and Canajoharie districts, upon which 
occasions the recent outrages were condemned, and the people were 
urged to firmness in the cause of liberty The most alarming feature in 
the public situation was the fortification of Guy Park, whose proprietor 
had placed swivel guns on each side, and had furnished arms to the 
tenants and also to the neighboring Indians. More than this, he had 
stopped and searched two New Englanders, being suspicious that they 
were emissaries from Massachusetts to the Six Nations, whose purpose 
was to make them allies to the American cause. 

At this time the Johnson party was alarmed by the suspicion that a 
body of New Englanders was coming to effect their arrest, but however 
well founded their suspicion may have been, there was no such intention 



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8o HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTS. 

at that time on the part of the colonial authorities, and Guy Johnson's 
defence is believed to have been due to the fear that he might be at- 
tacked by the indignant people of the valley on account of his enmity 
against colonial liberty. It should be said, however, in justice to John- 
son, that he avowed that he was not so much in fear of the settlers in 
the valley as of assault from the New Englanders. This may be seen 
by an extract from one of his letters : " You have been misinformed as 
to the origin of the reports which obliged me to fortify my house, and 
stand on my defence. I had it from undoubted authority from Albany, 
and since confirmed by letters from one of the committee at Philadel- 
phia, that a large body of men were to make me a prisoner." 

On June 2, 1775, there was held a general meeting of the commit- 
tees of safety for the several districts of Tryon county, at which were 
present for the first time the Mohawk committee, they having heretofore 
restrained from taking part in such proceedings through fear of the 
Johnsons. The representatives present on this occasion were as fol- 
lows : From Palatine district — Christopher P. Yates, John Frey, An- 
drew Fink, Andrew Reeber, Peter Waggoner, Daniel McDougall, Jacob 
Clock, George Ecker, jr., Harmanus Van Slyck, Christopher W. Fox, 
Anthony Van Veghten ; Canajoharie district — Nicholas Herkimer, 
Ebenezer Fox, William Seeber, John Moore, Samuel Campbell, Samuel 
Clyde, Thomas Henry, John Pickard ; Kingsland and German Flats 
district — Edward Wall, William Petry, John Petry, Augustin Hess, 
Frederick Ovendorf, George Wentz, Michael Ittig, Frederick Fox 
George Herkimer, Duncan McDougall, Frederick Helmer, John Frick; 
Mohawk district — ^John Morlett, John Bliven, Abraham Van Home, 
Adam Fonda, Frederick Fisher, Sampson Sammons, William Schuyler, 
Volkert Veeder, James McMaster, Daniel Lane. 

The principal object of this gathering was to cement more strongly 
the friendship of the settlers, and to discuss the best means to be 
adopted for the general welfare. At the same time a committee was 
chosen to prepare and send to Col. Guy Johnson a letter, setting forth 
the sentiment of the people as declared, by the representatives, and re- 
questing that he, as superintendent of Indian affairs, should use his best 
efforts to dissuade the Indians from taking up arms against the settlers 
rumors being then in circulation that Johnson's retainers had been in- 



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ACTIVITY OF Sm JOHN JOHNSON. 8i 

stigating them to attack. In reply to this letter Colonel Johnson most 
emphatically denied the charge, and expressed a desire to promote 
peace between the Indians and the inhabitants. He also called a sec- 
ond council of the Indians in the western part of the county, and under 
pretense of then meeting them, moved his family from the " Park " to 
Crosby Manor, a little above German Flats. After remaining for a 
time in the upper part of the valley, he and his followers moved west- 
ward as far as Ontario, thence to Oswego, and eventually to Montreal, 
where he remained during the war, still acting as agent and superin- 
tendent, and whence, using British gold as a stimulating influence, he 
sent out parties of Indians to fall upon the settlements in their usual 
bloody and merciless manner. The people of the valley being aware 
of his departure, were both surprised and alarmed by the movement, 
but were powerless to prevent it, for they were comparatively unorgan- 
ized and were destitute of either arms or ammunition. 

In the party which accompanied Guy Johnson were John and Walter 
Butler and Joseph Brant, but the larger part of the loyalists remained 
behind, placing themselves under the protection of Sir John, whose 
house and surroundings became their principal place of rendezvous. 
Between this party and the committees of safety there occurred inces- 
sant contentions. Among the loyalists was Alexander White, sheriff of 
Tryon county, who had made himself peculiarly obnoxious to the com- 
mittees, and who was bitterly hated because of his prominence in the 
assault upon Jacob Sammons and in breaking up the meeting at Caugh- 
nawaga. The committee refused to recognize the authority of White 
as sheriff, and procured the election of John Frey in his stead. White 
left the county and went to Canada, but returning the next summer, he 
was arrested, though afterward released on parole. 

Between Col. Guy Johnson and Sir John, after the former had reached 
Canada, there was a continual correspondence, their letters being 
carried secretly by the Indians. Sir John was no less inimical than his 
brother-in-law, but to draw out clearly his sentiments and test his loy- 
alty, the general committee addressed him a letter requesting to know 
whether he would allow the inhabitants of "Johnstown and Kingsboro 
to form themselves into companies, according to the regulations of the 
Continental Congress, for the defense of our country's cause; and 
II 



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82 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

whether your honor would be ready to give personal assistance to the 
same purpose ; also whether you pretend a prerogative to our county 
court-house and jail, and would hinder or interrupt the committee mak- 
ing use of the same to our want and service in the common cause." 

To this letter Sir John replied : "That as to embodying his tenants, 
he never did or should forbid them; but they (the committee) might 
save themselves further trouble, as he knew his tenants would never 
consent." Concerning his own intentions, he said that " sooner than lift 
his hand against the king, or sign any association articles, he would suf- 
fer his head to be cut off." 

From the tenor of this reply there could be no mistaking the senti- 
ments of the baronet. He claimed the ownership of the court-house 
and the jail until he should be reimbursed the sum of ;^700, and said 
that he would not deny the use of the latter for the purpose for which it 
was intended. In regard to Sir John's asserted ownership of the county 
buildings it may be stated that the commiittee of congress had informa- 
tion that Sir William soon after their erection conveyed the same to 
two persons in trust for the county. The committee advised, however, 
that in view of the bad consequenc.es that might follow if the buildings 
should be attempted to be used for confinement of the tories, the local 
committee should engage some other building for their purposes. Ac- 
cordingly a private house was secured in which several tories were con- 
fined, while others were sent to Albany and Hartford. 

During the winter of 1775-6, the people of the county were alarmed 
by the news that Sir John was making preparations to fortify Johnson 
Hall, and to arm his tenantry and concentrate his entire force in the 
vicinity ; and also that he was to garrison his forts with 300 well armed 
Indians. There was much truth in this rumor, as the baronet did con- 
struct two forts both of stone, for the defense of the hall. One of these 
is still standing, while the other one has been removed as it impaired 
the beauty and convenience of the mansion, which still stands, and as 
securely and substantially as when built, in 1763. A more complete 
description of the Hall and its surroundings will be found in the history 
of Johnstown. 

The conduct of Sir John in prosecuting warlike measures, together 
with his often repeated treasonable utterances, at last attracted the at- 



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FLIGH7 OF JOHNSON. 83 

tention of the provincial authorities, and they decided to bring them to 
a close. For this purpose, in January, 1776, General Schuyler, accom- 
panied by General Ten Broeck and Colonel Varick, marched a military 
force into Tryon county, and at the same time General Herkimer called 
out the militia, and a combined demonstration was made, their rendez- 
vous being Major Fonda's, where Fonda now stands. Negotiations 
were held with Sir John, and continued two or three days, and the re- 
sult was that he disarmed his tenants and surrendered himself a prisoner. 
He was taken to Fishkill, but soon after released on parole. This pledge 
of honor, however, he violated, for in the following May he and his 
tenants left the Hall, proceeded stealthily by way of Sacandaga, and took 
up his abode in Montreal, whither Col. Guy Johnson had preceded 
him. During the war that followed, Sir John commanded a troop of 
his faithful servants and tenants, which was known as "Johnson's 

GM 
reens. 

The flight of the last of the Johnson family removed from Tryon 
county the most dangerous element against which the struggling colo- 
nists had to contend. Thenceforth, so far as local government was con- 
cerned, there was no dispute in old Tryon, for the whole people were 
united in the common cause; and if toryism occasionally manifested it- 
self it was quickly subdued and even followed by arrest. Sir John's 
servant concealed much of his plate and treasure, but afterward recov- 
ered it. The vast Johnson estates, however, were confiscated and sold, 
and the county thus relieved of the possibility of a "manorial tenure." 

Before concluding the present chapter it may be well to explain the 
necessity of appointing committees and also the method by which they 
were formed and the powers and the duties entrusted to them. Gover- 
nor Tryon, in whose honor the county was named, was not at all in 
sympathy with the feelings and actions of the American colonies, and 
this is the reason' why the New England colonies were so much more 
incensed at the conduct of the Johnsons than the New York authorities. 
In fact between the executive of this province and the Johnsons there 
was the greatest harmony of thought and sentiment ; both were the 
creations and the|]_creatures of the king, and their policy was in sub- 
servience to the royal command. It could not indeed be otherwise than 
that Tryon'should remain faithful to his sovereign, for his office was the 



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84 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTS. 

direct gift of the crown, and all that the Johnsons possessed came from 
the same source. 

This allegiance to the king on the part of the governor and nearly all 
others in high office and influence in this province operated materially 
against the patriots, and forced them into such a position that thej' were 
compelled to act through a specially created and self-constituted body 
called the General Committee of Safety, which in turn reported to and 
received instructions from the continental congress. In each of the 
counties of this province the chief body was the Council of Safety, while 
in the several districts (towns or townships as now known) were more 
local organizations called the Committee of Safety. The principal duty 
of the latter was to learn the condition of the district ; to ascertain who 
were friendly to the crown, and to watch their movements ; also to learn 
whether the tory element was making any preparations for either aggres- 
sive or defensive operations, and the nature of such proceedings. In 
short the district committee was supposed to know whatever was tak- 
ing place in its territory, and to report the facts to the council of safety. 
Each of the districts had one of these committees. It was the meeting 
held at Caughnawaga under the direction of the Mohawk district com- 
mittee which was attacked and dispersed by the forces of Guy Johnson, 
of which mention has already been made in this chapter. 



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BEGINNING OF THE REVOLUTION. 85 



CHAPTER X. 

Beginning of the Revolution — The British Influence the Iroquois — Oneidas Remain 
Neutral — Organization of Militia in Tryon County — Sl Leger Invades the Mohawk 
Valley — The Battle of Oriskany aijd Fort Schuyler — The British Defeated — The 
First Pension — Indian Depredations in 1778- — Campaigns of Sullivan and Clmton in 
1779 — Sir John Johnson Invades the Valley in 1780 — Visits Johnstown and Secures 
his Plate — Details of his Raid — Thrilling Narrative of ihe Capture and Escape of 
Jacob Sammons. 

THE flight of the last of the Johnsons from Tryon county restored 
partial tranquillity among its inhabitants, for while a few tories 
still remained, they were awed into silence by the determined action of 
the committees of safety. To such a class the loss of property was a 
far greater sacrifice than the surrender of their principles. 

In 1776 the war had become national instead of colonial, and on the 
4th day of July independence was formally declared. The long period 
of seven years of hardship, suffering and conflict which had begun in 
the battle of Lexington in April, 1775, was closely followed by the dar- 
ing exploits of Allen and Arnold both at Ticonderoga and on Lake 
Champlain, but it was some time before old Tryon county was made 
the scene of war. All through the Mohawk valley the greatest fear of 
the people arose from the probability of an Indian invasion, instigated by 
the Johnsons, and hence all possible preparations were proposed, both to 
prevent a surprise and resist an attack. The policy of the Americans 
had been to secure simply the neutrality of the Indians, but their suc- 
cess was limited to the Oneidas, while the British made undisguised ef- 
forts to unite them in close alliance with the royal cause. One of their 
officers exclaimed : " We must let loose the savages upon the frontier 
of these scoundrels to inspire 'terror and make them submit." In the 
spring of 1777 Governor Tryon wrote to Germain that he was perfectly 
agreed as to the employment of Indians in the war. Brant, the great 
Mohawk chief, who had been taken to England (1775-76), was shown 
marked favor by the government, and was empowered to lead all who 



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86 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTS. 

would follow him against the colonists. Lord Chatham, however, 
hurled his bitterest invective against this inhumanity, and when, in 
ITTT, it was advocated in parliament in words like these, " It is perfectly 
justifiable to use all the means that God and nature have put in our 
hands," he indignantly exclaimed, " I know not what idea that lord may 
entertain of God and nature, but I know that such abominable princi- 
ples are equally abhorrent to religion and humanity!" Chatham ap- 
pealed, however, in vain, and the secretary of war (Germain) gave 
special instructions " to employ Indians in fighting republicans." A 
council had already been held in Montreal by the chiefs and warriors of 
the Iroquois, the Johnsons, Butlers and Brant taking part. Here the 
savages swore fealty to the king, the first act in the long catalogue of 
slaughter and devastation that followed. 

For the emergency of war, during the early part of the summer of 
1776, a company of rangers was formed among the people living in the 
Mohawk valley, and the command given to Capt. Robert McKean ; but 
as this force was ordered to another field, it became necessary to organ- 
ize another company, which was stationed in the valley under Captain 
Winn. In August Captain Getman's company of rangers was formed 
and officered as follows : Captain, Christian Getman ; lieutenants, Ja- 
cob Sammons and James Billington ; corporals, William Kind, John 
Hulsor, Leonhart Kratzer ; sergeants, John Smith, Nehemiah Williams, 
Richard Coppernall. 

The Tryon county committee had charge of the organization of its 
militia, which was divided into four battalions, and placed under the 
command of Gen. Nicholas Herkimer. The third battalion was organ- 
ized from the Mohawk district, and the following oflScers were elected : 
Frederick Fisher, colonel; Adam Fonda, Heutenant- colonel; John 
Bliven, major ; Robert Yates, adjutant. 

The organization of this military force was effected none too soon, 
and they were early called into service. Brant had appeared on the 
upper waters of the Susquehanna, and General Schuyler dispatched 
General Herkimer to communicate with him in order to learn his inten- 
tions, and if possible secure his promise of neutrality. In July General 
Herkimer with 380 of his militia began their march, but the conference 
yielded no substantial result, and as the season advanced the inhabi- 



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BATTLE OF ORISKANY. 87 

tants of the Mohawk valley were thrown into a state of wild excitement 
by the news that a strong British force of regulars, tories and Indians 
was assembled at Oswego with purpose to attack Fort Schuyler, after 
whose capture they werelo march through the valley and co-operate 
with Burgoyne and his army, which was then overpowering everything 
in the Chaniplain valley. Unfortunately, however, the people of 
Tryon county were so disconcerted by this alarm that no united 
action was taken. Preparation for defense was neglected, and even 
General Herkimer and the committee of safety did not escape the cen- 
sure of the higher military authorities. 

The British force at Oswego comprised 400 regulars, 600 tories and 
700 Indians, all commanded by General St. Leger with Sir John Johnson 
and Joseph Brant as allies, while the Americans under Herkimer num- 
bered about 800. The latter were assembled at the German Flats. 
Fort Schuyler, the object of British attack, was garrisoned by 750 men 
under Colonel Gansevoort, well supplied with ammunition except car- 
tridges for the artillery. The advance guard of the British reached the 
outskirts of the fort on August 2, and made immediate preparation for 
an attack. On the 4th General Herkimer advanced from German Flats 
and on the Sth encamped near Oriskany. From this point he sent for- 
ward Adam Helmer and two others to inform Colonel Gansevoort of 
his approach, it being understood that the arrival of these messengers 
was to be announced by the firing of three cannon in quick succession. 
In the mean time, however, St. Leger was apprised of the advance of 
Herkimer's miHtia, and on the morning of the 6th he dispatched Brant 
with a large body of Indians, also Major Watti with a detachment of 
Johnson's Greens, and Butler's rangers, to intercept them and thus pre- 
vent the relief of the garrison. General Herkimer waited long and pa- 
tiently for the expected signal, but unfortunately his subordinates in- 
terpreted his delay as evidence of cowardice, and even openly charged 
it upon him, until goaded on by the foul accusation, he ordered his im- 
patient men to advance. The enemy, practicing their favorite mode of 
warfare, lured the patriot force into ambush and opened a murderous 
fire, but Herkimer's men, though shockingly surprised, went into action 
with all the nerve that could have been expected of the Tryon county 
soldiery, and such bravery against fearful odds was seldom witnessed on 



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88 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

any battlefield during the revolution. The militia indeed were now for 
the first time brought face to face with their most hated enemies (John- 
son and the tories) and they knew that they must conquer or shamefully 
perish, leaving their families the victims of outrage and death. The bat- 
tle of Oriskany finally ended in the dearly bought defeat of the British, 
while at Fort Schuyler St. Leger's force fared no better ; but the details of 
that action, however interesting, are not necessary to this work (as it was 
fought beyond the limits of the county of which we write) and are there- 
fore omitted. It may be added, however, that General Herkimer was 
seriously wounded, and yet bravely refused to leave the field. He sup- 
ported himself against a tree, seated on his saddle, and directed the action 
of his men until victory was secured. He was then carried to his dwell- 
ing where he died ten days afterward, death being the result of an unskill- 
ful amputation. 

The most important result of the victory at Oriskany was the fact 
that it prevented a union of St. Leger with Burgoyne. The British 
plan was that their three armies should fight their way to Albany — 
Burgoyne taking the Lake Champlain route in expectation that 
Lord Howe would come from New York (by the Hudson river) 
and thus co-operate ; St. Leger, on the other hand, was to devas- 
tate the Mohawk valley and then join his commander in the same 
manner. It was a grand military scheme, but like many others 
proved a failure, the first decisive blow being the defeat at Oris- 
kany, thus saving Fort Schuyler. Next in importance was General 
Stark's great victory over Colonel Baum and his Hessians at Benning- 
ton, on the i6th day of August. Each of these victories led to the final 
triumph, and the last scene in the bloody episode was Burgoyne's sur- 
render to General Gates at Stillwater on the 17th of the next October. 

The patriot force in the battle of Oriskany, as has been stated, 
was from Tryon county, but, unfortunately, no perfect roster of their 
names is in existence. They came frdm the various districts of the 
county, and the slaughter filled old Tryon with such grief that history 
was neglected in the general horror. A partial record, however, was 
preserved of the gallant band that fought in that fearful conflict, and we 
now add a copy in the hope that some of the citizens of Fulton county 
may here discover an ancestor or kinsman. They were patriotic heroes 



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Enc,'h),r G K'ir-non.'Ky 




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ROSTER OF THE ORISKANY FORCES. 89 

of the highest rank and their names should be perpetuated in history. 
And this leads us again to express our regret at the loss of the roster. 
The following list, which is the best that can be given, contains the 
names of a large number of the force, also the place of residence, and 
also gives the killed, the wounded and those taken prisoners. The resi- 
dences are given in many instances in towns erected since that day but 
now used for convenience : 

The killed were as follows: — Brig.-General Nicholas Herkimer, 
Danube; Col. Ebenezer Cox, Minden ; PVederick Ayer, Schuyler; 
Nicholas Bell, Fall Hill; Joseph Bell, Fall Hill; Jacob Bowman, Cana- 
joharie; Maj. John Blevin, Florida; Samuel Billington, Palatine; Lieut- 
Col. Samuel Campbell, Cherry Valley ; Robert Crouse, Minden ; An- 
drew Cunningham, Amsterdam ; Lieut. Robert Campbell, Cherry Val- 
ley; Capt. Henry Dievendorf, Minden; Capt. Andrew Dillenbeck, 
Palatine ; Capt. John Davis, Mohawk ; Martines Davis, Mohawk ; Ben- 
jamin Davis, Mohawk; Capt. Thomas Davy, Springfield; John Dy- 
gert, Palatine; Maj. John Eisenlord, Palatine; Jacob Failing, Cana- 
joharie ; Lieut. Petrus Grant, Amsterdam ; Nicholas Gray, Palatine ; 
Capt. Frederick Helmer, German Flats; Lieut. Abel Hunt, Florida; 

Conrad Hawn, Herkimer; Hillcr, Fairfield; Jacob Klepsaddle, 

German Flats; Jacob Mover, Fairfield; Jacob Markell, Springfield; 
William Merckley, Palatine ; Isaac Paris, Palatine ; Peter Paris (son of 

Isaac), Palatine; Lieut. Dederick Petry, German Flats; Pet- 

tingall, Mohawk ; Martines Putman, Johnstown ; Cornelius Phillips,- 
Florida; John Petry, Herkimer; Lieut. Han Jost Petry, Herkimer; 

George Raysnor, Minden; Christian Sharrar, Herkimer; Shar- 

rar, Snyder's Bush ; Maj. William Seeber, Minden ; Capt. Jacob Seeber, 
Minden ; Adolph Seeber, Minden ; Henry Spencer, Joseph Snell, Jacob 
Snell, Frederick Snell, Sufferenus Snell, of Shell's Bush ; John Snell, 
John Snell, jr., Jacob Snell, of Stone Arabia; Maj. Harmanus Van 
Slyke, Palatine ; Peter Westerman, Minden ; John Wohlever, Lawrence 
Wrenkle, Fort Herkimer. 

Wounded : — Capt. John Bigbread, Palatine ; John Cook, Palatine ;. 
Peter Conover; Maj. John P. Frey, Palatine; Capt. Christopher W. 
Fox ; Conrad Folts, Herkimer ; Henry Failing, Canajoharie ; Capt. 
Jacob Gardner, Fultonville ; Samuel Gardner, Fultonville ; Philip -Nel- 

(2 



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go HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

lis, Palatine ; Adam Price, Canajoharie ; Joseph Petry, Herkimer ; Capt. 
Nicholas Rechtor, Ephratah ; Jacob Radnour, Minden ; William Shafer ; 

Col. Frederick Visscher, Mohawk; Van Antwerp, supposed 

Glen; George Wagner ; George Walter, Palatine ; Henry Zimmerman, 
St. Johnsville. 

Taken Prisoners: — Lieut- Col. Frederick Bellinger, German Flats; 
Maj. Blauvelt, Mohawk; Peter Ehle; Francis Lighthall, P^phratah ; 
Garrit Walrath, Minden; Lieut. Henry Walrath, Herkimer; Henry 
Walrath, Herkimer; Surgeon Moses Younglove, Stone Arabia; Jacob 
Youker, Oppenheim. 

Engaged in the battle : — Abram Arnot, Minden ; Jacob Alter, Min- 
den ; Col. Peter Bellinger, German Flats; Capt. George H. Bell, Fall 
Hill ; Melchcrt Bauder, Palatine ; John R. Boyer, Snyder's Bush ; 

Adam Bellinger; John Bellinger; Billington, Palatine; Peter 

Bargy, Frankfort ; Adjt. Samuel Clyde, Cherry Valley ; Capt. Abram 
Copeman, Canajoharie; Isaac Conover; Jacob, John and Adam Cas- 
ler, Minden ; Richard Coppernoll, Schuyler ; William Cox, Minden ; 
George Crouse, Minden; Jacob Clemens, Schuyler; Jacob Collier, 
Florida; John Dievendorf, Minden; Peter Dygert, Palatine; Hans 
Peter Dunckel, Han Garrit Dunckel, Han Nicholas Dunckel, Minden; 
John Doxtader, German Flats; Capt. William Dygert, German Flats; 
Mcirx De Muth, Deerfield ; Capt. Immanuel De Grafif, Amsterdam ; 
Peter S. and George Dygert, German Flats ; Peter Dorn, Johnstown ; 
Jacob Empie, Palatine ; William Ehle, Palatine ; John Eysler, Snyder's 
Bush ; Capt. Christopher P. Fox, Peter Fox, Charles Fox, William Fox 
and Christopher Fox, Palatine ; Henry N. Failing, Canajoharie ; Valen- 
tine Fralick, Palatine ; Lieut. Col. Adam Fonda, Fonda ; Peter Goert- 
ner, Minden; Lieut. Samuel Gray, Herkimer; Capt. Graves, Capt. 
Lawrence Gros, Minden; Cyrus Gray, Florida; John Adam Helmer, 
German Flats ; Lieut. John Joseph House, Minden ; Christian Hufif- 
nail ; John Huyck, Palatine ; Marcus Hand, Florida ; William Hall, 
Glen; Maj. Enos Klepsaddle, German Flats ; Conrad and Peter Kilts, 
Palatine ; Andrew, Jacob and Solomon Keller ; Palatine ; Col. Jacob 
Klock, Palatine; Lieut. Peter Loucks, Palatine; George Lintner, Minden; 

Lighthall, Palatine ; Solomon Longshore, Canajoharie ; Henry 

Louns, Canajoharie; Col. Louis, a St. Regis Indian with Oneidas, he 



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ROSIER OF THE ORISKANY FORCES. 9. 

held a Lieutenant's commission, and was usually called Colonel ; Adam 
Miller, Glen; Jelles, John P. and Henry Miller, Minden ; David Mur- 
ray, Florida; Lieut. David McMastcr, Florida; Jacob Myers, German 

Flats; Joseph Myers, Herkimer: Conrad Moyers, Danube; 

Moyers, Moyers, (brothers); Christian and John D. Nellis, Pal- 
atine ; Peter Nestell, Palatine ; John and Garret Newkirk, Florida ; Dr. 
William Petry, German Flats; John Marks Petry, German Flats; En- 
sign Richard Putman, Johnstown ; Nicholas Pickard, Canajoharie ; 
Lieut. Abram D. Quackenbush, Glen; John Rother, Minden; Johannes 

Roof, Fort Stanwix ; John Roof; Marx Rasbach, Kingsland ; 

Ritter, Fairfield ; Ensign John Jost Scholl, Ephratah ; Peter Sitts, Pal- 
aline; Henry Staring, Schuyler; Thomas Shoemaker, Herkimer; 
Rudolph Siebert ; George Shults, Stone Arabia ; Henry Shaull, Her- 
kimer ; Shimmel, Herkimer; Henry Sanders, Minden; Suf- 

ferenus, James and John Seeber; Christian Schell, Schell's Bush; 
George Smith, Palatine ; Smith, father of Nicholas ; Lieut. Jer- 
emiah Swarts, Mohawk ; John G. Sillenbeck ; John Shults, Palatine; 
Peter Sommers ; Philip G. P. Stowits, Root ; Peter and George Snell, 
Stone Arabia; Adam Thum, St. Johnsville; Henry Thompson, Glen; 
Conrad Timmerman, St. Johnsville ; Nicholas Van Slyke, a fifer. Pala- 
tine ; Cornelius and Henry Van Home, Florida ; Van Slyke, 

Canajoharie; Lieut. -Col. Peter Wagner, Palatine ; Lieut. Peter Wag- 
ner, John Wagner, sons of Col. ; Jacob Wagner, Minden; John Wag- 
ner, Canajoharie ; Richard, Peter and Abram Wohlever ; Jacob Weaver, 
German Flats; Peter James Weaver, German Flats; Michael Widrick, 
Schuyler ; Jacob Walrath, Palatine ; Robert Yates, Root ; Nicholas Yer- 
don, Minden. 

Of the representatives of the Snell family who took part in the battle 
of Oriskany, Jeptha R. Simms in his Schoharie and Border Wars, says i 
" It has been said for many years that nine Snells went into the battle 
and that seven of that number remained there." 

Henry Staring was the ancestor of John H. Starin, whose magnificent 
summer residence and grand estate adorns the beautiful elevation just 
outside the limits of Fultonville. 

Lieut.-Col. Adam Fonda was ancestor of Henry Fonda, of Milton, 
Pa. Lack of space, however, forbids that extended family research 
which is connected with this famous battle. 



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92 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

By reference to the above roll it will be seen that Isaac Paris, of Pal- 
atine, and his son, were killed in the battle. On the 14th day of Feb- 
ruary, 1793, Catharine Paris, widow of Isaac, was voted a pension by a 
special act of the state legislature. This is believed to have been the 
first pension ever granted, either by state or federal authority. Cath- 
arine Paris passed her last days in Johnstown, being cherished by her 
son, Daniel Paris, a prominent lawyer, who was at one time a member 
of the state senate. He married Catharine Irving, sister of Washington 
Irving, and among his descendants is Mrs. S. V. R. Cruger, the author, 
of New York. Mrs. Paris was buried in the old Johnstown cemetery, 
where her grave is still to be seen. 

The pension act just mentioned is an interesting feature in Tryon 
county history and may therefore be included in our record as follows : 
" Whereas it has been represented to the legislature that Isaac Paris, 
one of the militia of this state, was slain at the battle of Oriskany, by 
the enemy of the United States ; and that Catharine Paris, the widow 
of said Isaac, hath not intermarried with any other person since the de- 
cease of her said husband, and is now in indigent circumstances ; In 
consideration whereof, be it enacted by the people of the State of New 
York, represented in the Senate and Assembly, that the treasurer of this 
state shall, on or before the first day of May next, pay to the said Cath- 
arine Paris, or her order, the sum of thirty pounds; and on the first 
Tuesday in May, in every year afterward during her widowhood, the 
like sum of thirty pounds." 

During the year 1778, although there were no historic battles in the 
Mohawk valley, the whole region was constantly alarmed by the Indian 
depredations. These petty invasions led congress to hold a general 
conference with the Six Nations at Johnstown for the purpose of bring- 
ing them to neutrality, such as would prevent further devastation. For 
this purpose a council was called at Johnstown between the 15th and 
20th of February, but the Indians were so slow in attendance that it 
was not until March 9th that the proceedings began. General Schuy- 
ler and Volkert Douw associated with James Duane (as special com- 
missioner) conducted the council. The entire Six Nations, except the 
Senecas, were represented by the chiefs and sachems, the Indian attend- 
ance being in all about seven hundred. The commissioners opened the 



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INDIAN MARAUDINGS. 93 

council, and one of the chiefs of each nation replied. The Oneidas and 
Tuscaroras expressed friendship, but while some others assumed a simi- 
lar position their words were both deceitful and hypocritical, and in fact, 
during the course of the council, there was concealed within convenient 
distance a number of British spies. The results of the council quieted 
for a time the public fears", but it was thought wise to adopt the sug- 
gestion of General La Fayette (who also was present), and build forts 
at various places along the frontier. 

The Indians at this time were smarting under the chastisement they 
received at Oriskany and Fort Schuyler; hence the cautious leaders of 
the Americans were not willing to trust them implicitly, notwithstanding 
their promises. It was well known that the Johnsons were desirous 
and even determined to reoccupy the Mohawk valley and their deserted 
estates, and were only awaiting a favorable opportunity for an invasion. 
In the south part of Tryon county Brant was perpetrating his cruel and 
cowardly outrages, robbing, burning and slaughtering in the smaller 
frontier settlements. A much bolder movement which occurred about 
the same time, was the reappearance of a body of tories, estimated at 
one hundred, who came into the Mohawk valley, took their movable 
property and families, and escaped without molestation. They left 
Fort Hunter, proceeded to Fonda, and thence journeyed northward to 
the Fish House, in Northampton. Here they took eleven prisoners, 
among whom were Solomon Woodworth, Godfrey Shew and his three 
sons. They burned the buildings, among them the lodge built by Sir 
William Johnson in 1760, then took boats and rowed down the Sacan- 
daga and up the Hudson ; thence crossed to Lake George and returned 
to Canada by the Charhplain valley. 

On the 2d ^f July of the same year a strong party of Indians made a 
descent upon the settlement at Cobleskill, and two days later occurred 
the terrible massacre at Wyoming. In the same month also the settle- 
ment at Andrustown, six miles from German Flats, was plundered by 
Brant and his savage warriors. During the same fall. General Haldi- 
mand, governor- general of Canada, at the suggestion of Sir John John- 
son, sent a party of forty or fifty men to recover certain valuable papers 
which were concealed near the former residence. In this party was one 
Helmer, who was injured and obliged for a time to remain in his father's 



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94 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTS. 

house. He was discovered and arrested, tried, convicted and sentenced 
to death at Johnstown. The others of the party, although they com- 
mitted no depredations (at least there are none on record), escaped in 
safety to Canada, having come and returned by the short but unfre- 
quented route of the Sacandaga, Lake George and Champlain valley. 
Another fearful outrage occurred in November of the same year when 
Brant and Butler, with two hundred tories and five hundred Indians, 
fell upon the little settlement at Cherry Valley and ruthlessly slaughtered 
its inhabitants and plundered their dwellings. 

The Indian depredations of 1778 were really the most important 
features of warfare during that year, but it was also noted for the alliance 
with France, which gave renewed confidence to the colonies and really 
ensured the final victory. In November a large British force advanced 
from Canada to Ticonderoga, and completed the devastation that had 
been begun on both sides of the lake — a foray which, if justified by the 
laws of war, wrought but little benefit to the British while it caused 
much unnecessary suffering. 

The early part of 1779 brought to the inhabitants of Tryon county a 
repetition of the events of the preceding year. The Mohawk valley 
once more became the scene of scalping and plundering, and among the 
settlements first to suffer from Indian ravages and cruelty were Stone 
Arabia and a small hamlet south of the Mohawk. In both instances 
men were either killed or carried into captivity. At the same time a 
band of Senecas made an attack upon Schoharie, with the scalping knife 
and torch, and compelled the settlers to flee for their lives. The Pala- 
tine committee of safety at last was compelled to ask protection from 
General Clinton, and the latter responded with a detachment of troops 
which swept the savages from the valley and inflicted severe punishment 
wherever they were found. The Onondagas were among those upon 
whom Clinton's forces had visited summary justice, and in revenge they 
attacked Cobleskill, killed a number of its people and plundered the 
settlement. In the mean time Brant extended his predatory warfare 
into the Hudson river country, and massacred, plundered and burned 
wherever an opportunity offered. 

These atrocities at last became so numerous that the authorities were 
thoroughly aroused and determined to draw upon the troops in service 



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SIR JOHN JOHNSON'S RAID. 95 

for a general expedition against the Indians. The plan of the cam- 
paign called for two forces, one under General Sullivan to march through 
the Susquehanna and Chemung valleys, and thence down Seneca lake 
to destroy the Seneca Indian villages ; while the other |force, under 
General Clinton, was to sweep through the Mohawk valley, and thence 
westward and punish all the hostile tribes. Both of these movements 
were entirely successful, and the result was that the Indians, especially 
the fierce Senecas, were driven to the protection of the British post at 
Fort Niagara. Their villages and growing crops were destroyed, and 
thereafter they were obliged to rely on the generosity of the British for 
their support. 

We now approach that most horrible episode in Tryon county history 
known as " Sir John Johnson's raid." In the spring of 1780 (May 2ist) 
Sir John came up from Canada by Lake Champlain to Crown Point, at 
the head of a force of five hundred British troops, a detachment of his 
own Royal Greens, and about two hundred Indians and tories. From 
Crown Point he made his way through the forest to Sacandaga river, 
and at midnight entered the north part of Johnstown so stealthily as to 
take the slumbering inhabitants unawares. He divided his force into 
two bodies in order that they might cover more territory, and then he 
enacted a series of atrocities from whose record history almost recoils. 
Families were aroused from slumber by the terrific war-whoop, and men 
women and children were brutally slaughtered, their dwellings burned 
and their property destroyed. Even the lapse of a century has hardly 
abated the horror which accompanied the memories of Sir John's in- 
fernal purpose and the Mohawk valley was fearfully ravaged by his 
barbarous horde. An important object in this cowardly invasion was 
the recovery of some valuable plate which had been buried at the time 
of Sir John's flight in 1776. Since that time it had been faithfully 
guarded by one of his former slaves who, with the aid of the soldiers, 
disinterred the silver and laid it at his master's feet and it was divided 
among forty soldiers for transportation to Montreal. Such we say 
was a leading object in Sir John's invasion, but only a man of his 
malignity could have added to the horrors which he wrought merely to 
gratify brutal revenge. Having secured the plate they passed on 
through the village unobserved by the garrison that occupied the stock- 



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c|6 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTS. 

ade around the jail and resumed their hellish task. The first family to 
feel their malice was that of Sampson Sammons, who with his three 
sons, Jacob, Frederick, and Thomas were made prisoners. No doubt 
they were worth more alive than dead. The dwelling was plundered, 
after which the invaders joined the eastern division at the mouth of the 
Cayadutta. j 

The other force, led as it was believed by two notorious tory brothers 
named Brown, passed at once through Johnstown to the vicinity of 
Tribes Hill, and thence all through the river country, both east and 
west of Caughnawaga, they wreaked vengeance on the unprotected 
inhabitants. Lodowick Putnam and his son were first butchered, their 
property stolen or destroyed, but the females of the family escaped. 
Amasa Stevens, son-in-law of Putnam, was also killed, but his wife also 
escaped. Garret Putnam was an intended victim, but had recently 
moved away after renting his house to two tories. The house of Henry 
Hanson was likewise plundered and its owner murdered. In fact the 
property of every patriot in the locality was robbed or destroyed, and 
only that belonging to the tories was spared. The church and parson- 
age at Caughnawaga were also unmolested, being permanent features 
in the estate of Sir William Johnson. At the latter place Douw Fonda 
was killed and scalped ; and it is said that he was one of nine aged men, 
four of whom were more than eighty years old, who were killed during 
Sir John's raid. His descendants are still permanent citizens of the 
valley and tradition preserves the spot where he was so cruelly mas- 
sacred. 

Returning from the Mohawk valley the raiders again visited the 
Sammons place and took away seven horses. The Hall was also re- 
visited. Sir John remaining there several hours and regaining possession 
of about twenty of his former slaves who had remained behind at the 
time of his flight, and who now accompanied him to Canada. Among^ 
these was the trusted and faithful WilUam, who had concealed the plate. 
He had previously been in the service of Jacob Sammons (who had 
rented the Hall and estate from the commissioners), but he never would 
disclose the place of concealment. 

At thetime of this bloody invasion Governor Clinton was at Kingston. 
He hastened to Albany, collected such militia as were within his 



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ESCAPE OF JACOB SAMMONS. 97 

command and marched to Lake George to intercept Sir John. Colonel 
Van Schaick, also with seven hundred men (part being of the Mohawk 
valley militia), followed, the invaders by the way of Johnstown to cutoff 
their retreat by the Oswego route. The governor descended Lake 
George to Ticonderoga, where he was joined by a body of militia, but 
all these efforts to cut off Sir John's retreat were ineffectual and the 
monster escaped with his horde, taking their boats, probably at Crown 
Point, whence they proceeded down the lake to St. Johns. Their 
captives (including the brothers Jacob and Frederick Sammons) were 
thence transferred to the fort at Chambly. These two of the forty 
prisoners resolved to escape, and the thrilling story of their attempt is 
of such interest, and so closely related to the history of Fulton county, 
that we give it a place in our pages — the extract being from Stone's 
Life of Brant : 

" On the day after their arrival Jacob Sammons, having taken an 
accurate survey of the garrison and the facilities of escape, conceived 
the project of inducing his fellow prisoners to rise upon the guards and 
obtain their freedom. The garrison was weak in number and the 
sentinels less vigilant than is usual among good soldiers. The prison 
doors were opened once a day, when the prisoners were visited by the 
proper officer with four or five soldiers. Sammons had observed where 
the arms of the guard were stacked in the yard, and his plan was that 
some of the prisoners should arrest and disarm the visiting guard on 
the opening of the door, while the residue were to rush forth, seize the 
arms, and fight their way out. The proposition was acceded to by his 
brother Frederick, and the other man named Van Sluyck, but was 
considered too daring by the great body of the prisoners to be under- 
taken. It was therefore abandoned, and the brothers sought afterward 
only for a chance for escaping by themselves. Within three days the 
desired opportunity occurred, viz. : on the 13th of June. The prisoners 
were supplied with an allowance of spruce beer, for which two of their 
number were detached daily to bring the cask from the brew- house, 
under a guard of five men with fixed bayonets. Having reason to sup- 
pose that tlie arms of the guards though charged were not primed, the 
brothers so contrived matters as to be taken together to the brewery on 
the day mentioned, with an understanding at a given point they were to 

13 



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gS HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

dart from the guard and run for their lives, beHeving that the confusion 
of the moment and the delay of priming their muskets by the guards, 
would enable them to escape beyond the ordinary range of musket shot. 
The project was boldly executed At the concerted moment the 
soldiers sprang from their conductors and stretched across the plain with 
great fleetness. The alarm was given and the whole garrison was soon 
after them in hot pursuit. Unfortunately for Jacob he fell into a ditch 
and sprained his ankle. Perceiving the accident, Frederick turned to 
his assistance ; but the other generously admonished him to secure his 
own flight, if possible, and leave him to the chances of war. Recovering 
from his fall, and regardless of the accident, Jacob sprang forward again 
with as much expedition as possible, but finding that his lameness 
impeded his progress, he plunged into a thick clump of shrubs and trees, 
and was fortunate enough to hide himself between two logs before the 
pursuers came up. Twenty or thirty shots had previously been fired 
upon them, but without effect. In consequence of the smoke of their 
fire, the guards had not observed Jacob when he threw himself into the 
thicket, and supposing that, like his brother, he had passed around it, 
they follow on, until they were fairly distanced by Frederick, of whom 
they lost sight and trace. They returned in about half an hour, halting 
by the bushes in which the other fugitive was sheltered, and so near 
that he could distinctly hear their conversation. The officer in com- 
mand was Captain Steele. On calling his men together some were 
swearing, and others laughing at the race, and the speed of the long- 
legged Dutchmen, as they called the flying prisoners. The pursuit 
being abandoned, the guards returned to the fort. 

" The brothers had agreed in case of separation, to meet at a certain 
spot at lO o'clock at night. Of course Jacob lay ensconced in the bushes 
until night had dropped her sable curtains, and until he supposed the 
hour had arrived, when he sallied forth according to the antecedent 
understanding. But time did not move as rapidly on that evening as 
he supposed. He waited upon the spot designated, and called aloud 
for Frederick, until he despaired of meeting him, and prudence forbade 
his remaining any longer. It subsequently appeared that he was too 
early on the ground, and that Frederick made good his appointment. 

Following the bank of the Sorel, Jacob passed Fort St. Johns soon 
after daybreak on the morning of the 14th. His purpose was to swim 



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ESCAPE OF JACOB SAMMONS. 99 

the river at that place, and pursue his course homeward through the 
wilderness on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain ; but just as he was 
preparing to enter the water he descried a boat approaching from 
below, filled with officers and soldiers of the enemy. They were already 
within twenty rods. Concealing himself again in the woods, he re- 
sumed hisjourney after their departure.buthad notproceeded more than 
two or three miles before he came upon a party of several hundred men 
engaged in getting out timber for the public works at the fort. To 
avoid them he was obliged to describe a wide circuit, in the course of 
which, at about 12 o'clock, he came to a small clearing. Within the 
enclosure was a house, and in the field were a man and a boy engaged 
hoeing potatoes. They were at that moment called to dinner, and 
supposing them to be French, who, he had heard, were rather friendly 
to the American cause than otherwise — incited, also, by hunger and 
fatigue — lie made bold to present himself, trusting that he might be 
invited to partake of their hospitality. But instead of a friend, he found 
an enemy. On making known his character, he was roughly received. 

" ' It is by such villains as you are,' replied the forrester, ' that I was 
obhged to fly from Lake Champlain.' The rebels, he added, had 
robbed him of all he possessed, and he would now deliver his self-invited 
guest to the guard, which, he said, was not more than a quarter of a 
mile distant. Sammons promptly answered that ' that was more than 
he could do.' The refugee then said he would go for the guard him- 
self; to which Sammons replied that he might act as he. pleased, but 
that all the men in Canada should not make him again a prisoner. The. 
man thereupon returned to the potato field and resumed his work, while 
his more compassionate wife gave Sammons a bowl of bread and milk, 
which he ate sitting on the threshold of the door to guard agayist sur- 
prise. 

"While in the house he saw a musket, powder horn and bullet-pouch 
hanging against the wall, of which he determined, if possible, to possess 
himself, that he might be able to procure food during the long and sol- 
itary march before him. On retiring, therefore, he traveled only far 
enough into the woods for concealment, returning to the woodsman's 
house in the evening for the purpose of obtaining the musket and 
ammunition. But he was again beset by imminent peril. Very soon 



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loo HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

after he entered the house the sound of approaching voices was heard 
and he took to the rude chamber for security, where he lay flat upon 
the irregular floor, and looking through the interstices, saw eleven sol- 
diers enter, who, it soon appeared, came for milk. His situation was 
now exceedingly critical. The churlish proprietor might inform against 
him, or in a single movement betray him. But neither circumstance 
occurred. The unwelcome visitors departed in due time and the family 
all retired to bed except the wife, who, as Jacob descended from the 
chamber, refreshed him with another bowl of milk. The good woman 
earnestly entreated her guest to surrender himself and join the ranks of 
the king, assuring him that his majesty must certainly conquer in the 
end, in which the rebels would lose all their property and many of them 
be hanged into the bargain. But to such a proposition he of course 
would not listen. Finding all her efforts to convert a whig into a tory 
fruitless, she then told him if he would secrete himself two days longer 
in the woods she would furnish him with provisions, for a supply of 
which her husband was going to the fort the next day, and she would 
likewise endeavor to provide him with a pair of shoes. 

"Disinclined to linger so long in the country of the enemy and in the 
neighborhood of a British post, he took his departure forthwith. But 
such had been the kindness of the good woman that he had it not in 
his heart to seize upon her husband's arms, and he left this wild scene 
of rustic hospitality without supplies and without the means of procur- 
ing them. Arriving once more at the water's edge at the lower end of 
Lake Champlain, he came upon a hut, within which, on cautiously ap- 
proaching it for reconnoissance, he discovered a party of soldiers, all 
soundly asleep. Their canoe was moored by the shore, into which he 
sprang and paddled himself up the lake under the most encouraging 
prospect of a speedy and comparatively easy voyage to its head, whence 
his return home would be unattended with either difficulty or danger. 
But his pleasing anticipations were extinguished on the night following 
as he approached the Isle aux Noix, where he descried a fortification 
and the glitter of the bayonets bristling in the air as the moonbeams 
played upon the burnished arms of the sentinels who were pacing their 
tedious rounds. The lake being very narrow at this point, and perceiv- 
ing that both sides were fortified, he thought the attempt to shoot his 



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ESCAPE OF JACOB SAMMONS. loi 

canoe through between them rather too hazardous an experiment. Nor 
on landing was his case in any respect enviable. Without shoes, with- 
out food, and without the means of obtaining either — a long journey 
before him through a deep and trackless wilderness — it may well be 
imagined that his mind was not cheered by the most agreeable antici- 
pations. But without pausing to indulge unnecessarily his ' thick- 
coming fancies,' he commenced his solitary journey, directing his course 
along the eastern lake-shore toward Albany. During the first four 
days of his progress he subsisted entirely upon the bark of birch — chew- 
ing the twigs as he went. On the fourth day, while resting by a brook, 
he heard a rippling of the water caused by fish as they were stemming 
the current. He succeeded in catching a few of these, but having no 
means of striking a fire, after devouring one of them raw the others 
were thrown away. 

" His feet were by this time cruelly cut, bruised and torn by thorns, 
briars and stones ; and while he could scarcely proceed by reason of 
their soreness, hunger and fatigue united to retard his cheerless march. 
On the fifth day his miseries were augmented by hungry swarms of 
mosquitoes, which settled upon him in clouds while traversing a swamp. 
On the same day he fell upon the nest of a black duck — the duck sitting 
quietly upon her eggs until he came up and caught her. The bird was 
no sooner deprived of life and feathers than he devoured the whole, 
including the head and feet. The eggs were nine in number, which 
Sammons took with him, but on opening one he found a little half-made 
•duckling, already alive. Against such food his stomach revolted and 
he was obliged to throw the eggs away. 

"On the tenth day he came to a small lake. His feet were in such a 
horrible state that he could scarcely crawl along. Finding a mitigation 
of pain by bathing them in water, he plunged his feet into the lake and 
lay down upon its margin. For a time it seemed as though he could 
never rise up on his feet again. Worn down by himger and fatigue — 
bruised in body and wounded in spirit — in a lone wilderness, with no 
eye to pity and no human arm to protect, he felt as though he must re- 
main in that spot until it should please God in his goodness to quench 
the dim spark of life that remained. Still, he was comforted in some 
measure by the thought that he was in the hands of a being without 
whose knowledge not a sparrow falls to the ground. 



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I02 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTl. 

" Refreshed at length, though to a trifling degree, he resumed his 
weary way, when, on raising his right leg over the trunk of a fallen 
tree, he was bitten in the calf by a rattlesnake. Quick as a flash, with 
his pocket-knife, he made an incision in his leg, removing the wounded 
flesh to a greater depth than the fangs of the serpent had penetrated. 
His next business was to kill the venomous reptile and dress it for eat- 
ing; thus appropriating the enemy that had sought to take his life to 
its prolongation. His first meal was made from the heart and fat of 
the serpent. Feeling somewhat strengthened by the repast, and find- 
ing, moreover, that he could not travel further in his present condition, 
he determined to remain where he was for a few days, and by repose 
and feeding upon the body of the snake, recruit his strength. Discov- 
ering also a dry fungus upon the trunk of a maple he succeeded in strik- 
ing a fire, by which his comforts were essentially increased. Still he 
was obliged to creep upon his hands and knees to gather fuel, and on 
the third day he was yet in such a state of exhaustion as to be utterly un- 
able to proceed. Supposing that death was inevitable and very near, 
he crawled to the foot of a tree, upon the bark of which he commenced 
inscribing his name, in the expectation that he should leave his bones 
there, and in the hope that in some way by the aid of the inscription 
his family might ultimately be apprised of his fate. While engaged in 
this sad work a cloud of painful thoughts crowded upon his mind, the 
tears involuntarily stole down his cheeks, and before he had completed 
the melancholy task he fell asleep. 

" On the fourth day of his residence at this place he began to gain 
strength, and as a part of the serpent yet remained he determined upon 
another effort to resume his journey. But he could not do so without 
devising some substitute for shoes. For this purpose he cut up his hat 
and waistcoat, binding them upon his feet, and thus he hobbled along. 
On the following night, while lying in the woods he became strongly 
impressed with the belief that he was not far distant from a human hab- 
itation. He had seen no indication of proximity to the abode of man, 
but he was, nevertheless, so confident of the fact that he wept for joy. 
Buoyed up and strengthened by this impression he resumed his jour- 
ney on the following morning ; and in the afternoon, it being the 28th 
of June, he reached a house in the town of Pittsford, in the New Hamp- 



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CARLETON'S HAW. 103 

shire grants, now forming the state of Vermont. He remained there 
several days, both to recruit his health and if possible to gain intelli- 
gence of his brother. But no tidings came ; and, as he knew Frederick 
to be a capital woodsman, he of course concluded that sickness, death, 
or recapture must have interrupted his journey. Procuring a convey- 
ance at Pittsford Jacob traveled to Albany and thence to Schenectady, 
where he had the happiness of finding his wife and family." 

The adventures of the brother were scarcely less thrilling, but this 
one must suffice as an example of many similar ones happening on the 
frontier. 



CHAPTER XI. 



Additional Depredations in the Mohawk Valley — Sir John Johnson again Invades 
*he Region — The Battle at Stone Arabia — Van Rensselaer's Cowardly Conduct — 
Condition of the Inhabitants after the Raid — Governor Clinton sends Colonel Willett to 
Protect the Valley — Invasion by Brant and Butler — Defeat of the Latter by Willett's 
Troops — Battle at Johastown — The Enemy Routed — Death of Walter Butler — End 
of Hostilities in the Mohawk Valley. 

""F^HE devastation and bloodshed that had thus far marked the track of 
I war throughout the states was now approaching an end, but in the 
autumn of 1780, and simultaneous with the movements of Sir John John- 
son in the Mohawk country, the enemy actively engaged against the 
settlements north of Albany, and also upon the upper Connecticut river. 
In order to create a diversion in favor of Sir John, Major Carleton came 
up the lake with a large fleet, and more than a thousand men. This in- 
vasion was secretly conducted and reached Fort Anne and Fort George 
undiscovered, both posts being captured with one hundred and twenty 
prisoners. Stories of cruelty were told against Carleton's troops, but 
were positively denied by that officer. It is certain, however, that de- 
struction and outrage followed the invadets as far as the country offered 
anything that would gratify their purpose, except on the eastern shores 
of the lake. There the inhabitants were fortunately exempted from at- 
tack through the remarkable statesmanship of Generals Ethan and Ira 



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I04 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTS. " 

Allen and Governor Chittenden. More than that, by their efforts there 
was kept inactive in Canada a British army of nearly ten thousand ef- 
fective men. The intercommunications which occurred were called the 
Haldimand correspondence, or Negotiations with Canada, and although 
conducted in entire good faith on the part of the astute Vermonters, the 
latter were nevertheless charged by the authorities of New York with 
treasonable intent ; but without regard to public opinion on that point, 
the patriotism of the men connected with it can never be doubted nor 
can the value of their services be diminished. 

Returning to the history of oldTryon, it may be said that while other 
portions of the country were now comparatively free from the horrors 
of war, the Mohawk valley was destined to be the scene of British out- 
rages for many months to come. In the latter part of 1780 Sir John 
Johnson made a second invasion of the valley, with the evident deter- 
mination to destroy every vestige of property, and even the lives of the 
inhabitants. After his first raid Governer Clinton ordered Colonel 
Gansevoort to Fort Plain with the militia of the county in order to pro- 
tect the locality and also to guard the supplies in store at Fort Schuyler. 
At the same time Brant with his blood-thirsty savages was hovering 
in the region, ready to fall upon any unprotected settlement and thus 
increase that long record of murder, which bore testimony in the court 
of heaven against him and his instigators. Being informed by the tories 
of the valley that a patriot force was about to defend Fort Plain, Brant 
made a sudden descent upon Canajoharie and the fort itself, burning 
buildings and destroying property without the restraints of mercy. 
Gansevoort was so sluggish in his movements that no hand was raised 
to defend either life or property from the Indian invaders. 

Soon after this Sir John again repeated his vengeance upon the al- 
ready distressed people of the county. In his command were the now 
notorious Greens, the German Yagers, Butler's two hundred rangers, a 
company of British regulars, and a body of Indians under Brant and the 
still more dreaded Seneca chief, Cornplanter. During the early part of 
this foray, Sir John was no where opposed by any considerable force, 
and was thus at full liberty to pillage, burn and destroy every thing ex- 
cept the property of the tories. This naturally led to retaliation, and 
after he had passed up the Mohawk the ruined patriots revenged them- 



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RETALIATION UPON THE TORIES. 105 

selves by destroying in turn tlie buildings and harvested crops of the 
British sympathizers. On the i8th of October Sir John camped at the 
" Nose," but the next morning sent a detachment against Stone Arabia 
(then called Fort Paris), following soon afterward with his main force. 
General Van Rensselaer was sent to oppose the invaders, having- in his 
command the Albany militia, and reached Caughnawaga on the i8th. 
Learning that Fort Plain was to be attacked, Colonel Brown was sent 
to engage the enemy in front, while Van Rensselaer himself was to 
make a diversion and attack them from another quarter, but whether 
from cowardice, or sympathy for the British, he changed his course and 
left Brown without support. The result was the defeat and death of the 
gallant colonel, while the enemy was still further allowed to ravage the 
country. Van Rensselaer displayed even greater cowardice, for later 
on, having been reinforced by Captain McKean's company, and about 
eighty Oneida braves, so that his troops outnumbered the enemy, he 
again refrained from attack. At last he was openly charged with toryism 
by an Oneida chief, which, with the importunities of his subordinate of- 
ficers, forced him to prepare for battle ; and after a severe engagement 
the British were routed, but the cowardly American commander refused 
to follow up his victory, notwithstanding the entreaties of his men. He 
fell back and encamped, while some of the volunteers and Oneidas pur- 
sued the British and captured a cannon and a number of prisoners, but 
by the next morning the enemy had retreated beyond successful pur- 
suit. 

The outrages committed by the British and their savage allies in the 
Mohawk valley during the several years ending with the close of 1780, 
had left the inhabitants in a most deplorable condition. Their homes 
and" other buildings were now burned to the ground, their crops had 
been completely destroyed, and they were obliged to look for shelter 
and support to the people less unfortunate than themselves who occu- 
pied the larger and more protected settlements in the eastern part of the 
valley. On the 20th of December, 1780, the supervisors ofTryon county- 
reported to the legislature the condition in which their people were left 
at that time. From this sad report it appeared that seven hundred 
buildings had been burned ; six hundred and thirteen persons had gone 
over to the enemy ; three hundred and fifty-four families had abandoned 
14 



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io6 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

their homes and property ; one hundred and ninety-seven lives had 
been lost; one hundred and twenty-one persons had been carried into 
captivity, while one thousand farms in the county were without care or 
cultivation. 

Such a lamentable state of affairs could not but move the authorities 
to some action in behalf of a distressed people, but even then Brant 
was skulking in the vicinity, only awaiting an opportunity to attack 
some defenseless settlement, and the only remedy lay in levying a 
sufficient armed force to guarantee safety to the people so that they 
might return to their homes. The militia was greatly reduced in num- 
bers and efficiency, and the partial destruction of Fort Schuyler by fire 
and flood left the whole valley open to the enemy. In his extremity 
Governor Clinton determined to detach a part of his own army for the 
defense of the western frontier, and accordingly Colonel Willett was 
sent with a body of troops to protect the region from invasion. Willett 
collected about one hundred militiamen, added to these his state troops, 
and stationed his force at Fort Plain, but was soon called into action, 
being, on July 9th, summoned to repel an invasion at Currytown, about 
three miles from Sprakers. The marauders were a party of tories and 
Indians led by one Doxtader, who attacked the settlement, destroyed 
much property, and made off with nine prisoners. Willett at once 
marched to the scene of danger, and, unlike his timid predecessor, de- 
ployed his men so as to draw the British into an ambuscade, and as a 
result the latter were terribly beaten and routed. In this sharp fight 
the efforts of Colonel Willett were materially aided by the zeal and 
bravery of Lieutenant Jacob Sammons and Captain McKean. 

The vigilance of Willett and his men put a check upon the ravages 
of the tories and the Indians, but did not entirely end them, as marauding 
parties still continued petty depredations. The tories, however, were, as 
Willett found, more dreaded than the Indians, for they moved more 
covertly and with such well-planned and united action as to render 
them dangerous in the extreme. During the latter part of October a 
party of these tories, together with a few Indians under Ross and But- 
ler, again entered the valley and ravaged the country from Currytown 
to Warrensbush and Fort Hunter. They then changed their course 
towards Johnstown, having increased their force to about five hundred, 



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COL. WILLEITS J0HNS20WN FIG HI. 107 

composed of British regulars as well as tories and Indians. Willett 
pursued with only about four hundred and sixteen men, but he deter- 
mined to give them a battle regardless of the disparity of numbers. To 
do this successfully the intrepid commander divided his force into two 
parts, and with his main body under his own command he attacked the 
enemy in front, while about sixty men under Colonel Rowley (a Massa- 
chusetts officer) made a detour in order to attack in the rear. On the 
level land opposite Johnson Hall, where the orchard now stands, the 
contending forces first met. Willett's men fought with determination, 
but being overpowered by the superior number of the enemy, he was 
compelled to fall back to the village. This was a dangerous movement, 
but he was saved from what might have been a rout by Rowley's little 
troop, which fell unexpectedly upon the British rear with such valor as to 
create a diversion. The British were obliged to turn and act on the de- 
fensive, upon which Willett rallied his men and renewed the battle. 
Although assailed both in front and rear the invaders kept up the fight 
until night, when, weary and suffering severely in losses, they wavered 
and finally broke into precipitate flight to the woods. This was the 
last battle fought in Tryon county, and really was the last in the en- 
tire record of the revolution, and in this final conflict the Tryon county 
militia had the satisfaction of inflicting satisfactory chastisement on 
their old tory enemies. In the battle of Johnstown the loss in killed 
was about forty on each side, but the Americans made prisoners of fifty 
of the enemy, and those who escaped did not halt until they had put a 
long distance between themselves and their conquerers 

Early on the morning of the 26th (the day following the Johnstown 
battle) Colonel Willett started in pursuit of the foe. He marched as. 
rapidly as possible to Stone Arabia, and believing the fugitives had: 
gone toward Oneida Lake, sent thither a detachment to destroy their 
boats, while he halted expecting a possible attack ; but as it did not 
take place he renewed his march. Butler's men instead of taking the lake 
route turned northward to Canada Creek, where Willett overtook them. 
He fell upon their rear and punished them severely, taking many pris- 
oners and killing others. Butler crossed the creek and made an at- 
tempt to rally his men, but in doing so was discovered by an Oneida 
chief, who shot him. The fall of their leader so dismayed the British 



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io8 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

and Indians that they fled in confusion and sought shelter wherever it 
offered. The Oneidas now crossed the creek and dispatched the infa- 
mous Butler as he lay prostrate upon the ground. Colonel Willett 
having now delivered the valley from terror, returned in triumph to 
Fort Dayton, having lost only one of his men since the Johnstown bat- 
tle. 

Although the close of the year 178 1 found the heavy operations of 
war practically at an end, as yet the peace of the people living in the 
Mohawk valley was not fully assured. An occasional marauding band 
of Indians would unexpectedly appear, commit some outrage and then 
quickly depart to a safe refuge. One of these invasions took place dur- 
ing the summer of 1782, when a body of seven savages appeared near 
Johnstown and killed Henry Stoner a noted settler, and also made pris- 
oners of his nephew, Michael Reed, and a man nanied Palmatier. The 
Indians also burned the Stoner buildings. This act of outrage was af- 
terwards fearfully avenged by the noted Nicholas Stoner, son of the 
murdered pioneer. Andrew Bowman, a tory living near Johnstown, 
bore a part in the above mentioned outrage, for which he suffered suita- 
ble punishment from the indignant patriots of that town. 



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AFTER THE WAR. 



109 



CHAPTER XII. 

Condition of the Mohawk Valley at the Close of the Revolution — Mohawk Indians 
Torfeit their Lands to the State — Return of Tories — Their Treatment by the Mohawk 
Committee — Settlement of the Region by New Englanders — Tryon County changed to 
Montgomery — First County Officers — County Buildings — Counties Formed from 
Montgomery — Old Tryon County Districts formed into Towns — Origin of Towns in 
Fulton County — Caughnawaga Divided — County Officers of Tryon County — Also of 
Montgomery County prior to Removal of the County Seat to Fonda. 

THE close of the revolutionary war and the return of peace marked 
a new era in the history of the Mohawk valley. Returning to their 
deserted lands and property, the patriot settlers found little else than 
ruin and desolation ; their buildings had been burned and the harvested 
and growing crops almost wholly destroyed. Their cattle, too, had 
been driven off by the recent invaders, and they were obliged to begin 
life anew. They had, however, this consolation, that they no longer 
feared the wily Indian, nor the malignant tory, for the fortune of war had 
driven them from the country. 

The Mohawk Indians by their alliance to the British, shared the ill 
fortunes of a fallen power, and forfeited whatever claim they may have 
had to the lands which they formerly occupied, and while, as a rule, the 
Six Nations were kindly treated by both the general and state govern- 
ments, the hostility of the Mohawks had been such as to cancel their 
claims to the territory pf the valley. There is not indeed any reliable 
proof that the Mohawks ever made a demand for these lands, and the 
shattered remnant of their once powerful nation accepted the offer made 
by Great Britain of a home in Canada With the tories who had cast 
in their lot with the British, the case appears to have been quite different, 
for almost immediately after the restoration of peace they returned to 
their former homes and proclaimed ownership, insisting on legal title. 
Fortunately, however, and justly, also, they were not successful, for the 
property of the defeated foe by the rules of war became forfeit to the 
conquerors. 



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no fflSTORi OF FULTON COUNTS. 

We cannot but notice that the effrontery of the tory in peace was 
only equaled by his barbarity in war, and hence, as has been stated, 
after the struggle was ended he loudly asserted his right to' his former 
estate. So annoying indeed did this false but persistent assertion of 
right become that the people of the Mohawk district were under the 
necessity of taking public action in the matter, and therefore held a 
meeting on May 9, 1783, on which' occasion they expressed them- 
selves in this manner : 

" Resolved, unanimously, that all those who have gone off to the 
enemy or have been banished by any law of this state, or those 
who we shall find, tarried as spies or tools of the enemy, and encour- 
aged and harbored those who went away, shall not live in this dis- 
trict on any pretense whatever; and as for those who have washed 
their faces from Indian paint and their hands from innocent blood 
of our dear ones, and have returned, either openly or covertly, we 
hereby warn them to leave the district before the twentieth of June 
next, or they may expect to feel the just resentment of an injured and 
determined people. 

" We likewise unanimously desire our brethren in the other districts 
in this county to join with us to instruct our representatives not to con- 
sent to the repealing any laws made for the safety of the state against 
treason, or confiscation of traitor's estates, or to passing any new acts 
for the return or restitution of tories. 

" By order of the meeting, 

" JosiAH Throop, Chairman." 

In and about the county seat of Tryon county was perhaps a greater 
number of tories than in any single locality of the region. Johnstown 
was founded, built up and virtually owned by Sir Willian Johnson, and 
through his efforts the local population was mainly acquired. Upon 
his death, the property and estate descended to his son, Sir John, whose 
conduct during the war was of such a character as to justify a far more 
detestable expression than merely tory. He was an avowed and a 
relentless enemy, combining the worst elements of toryism with the 
inhuman methods of war only resorted to by savages. He never came 
back to Johnstown to claim his vast and valuable estate, which was con- 
fiscated and sold by the state. Sir John himself remained in Canada 



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THE HATED NAME OF TRYON. iii 

and received from the crown an appointment as superintendent and 
inspector of Indian affairs in British North America. He died in 
Montreal January 4, 1830. 

Among the dependents of Sir John Johnson were the tenants settled 
on his lands in and about the village of Johnstown, and the Scotch 
Highlanders who dwelt upon the Kingsboro tract in the north part of 
the town, then a part of the Mohawk district ; also a part of the old 
township called Caughnawaga. The tenantry and the Scotchmen were 
provided with firearms by the proprietor, and of course departed with 
their master to Canada, thenceforth forming a part of the " Royal 
Greens " regiment. Whatever claim to the lands of the Mohawk 
region they may have acquired was likewise forfeited, and they never 
afterward returned. 

Of the German settlers in the valley, however, it must in justice be 
said that they were generally loyal and true to the colonies, and al- 
though a few — and onl)' a few — may have been misled by the influence 
of the arbitrary baronet and his associates in authority, this was the ex- 
ception, not the rule. 

During the course of the war, this portion of the state became known 
to a class of people who had no former means of judging of its beauty 
and fertility. The continual passage of New England troops through 
the valley of the Mohawk made them acquainted with its desirability as 
a place of abode, and, when peace was restored, they were not slow to 
avail themselves of the opportunity of possessing the lands. - They came 
and made miscellaneous settlements, as tracts were offered for sale, and 
thus the territory came under the control of Yankees, determined, ener- 
getic and upright men, with wives and mothers of corresponding char- 
acter ; and it was to this class of people that Montgomery and Fulton 
counties owed much of their later development and improvement. 

There was one name, however, in this beautiful region that was the 
occasion of much annoyance to the progressive inhabitants, being indeed 
in the .highest degree offensive, and that was the name by which this 
county was then called. Governor William Tryon first became executive 
of the province of New York by appointment July 9, 1771, and was 
reappointed June 28, 1775 ; and it was in his honor that Tryon county 
received its name. The toryism of this public dfficer was as pronounced 



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112 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

and offensive as that of any British subject in the land. His official 
power was wholly devoted to the crown, and he was even implicated in 
a plot to seize General Washington and deliver him to the British offi- 
cers. It was not therefore in the least surprising that the settlers of the 
Mohawk valley should desire to remove so odious a name. 

Tryon county was created from the original county of Albany by act 
of the provincial assembly, March I2, 1772, and Johnstown designated 
as its capital. The first officers were as follows : Guy Johnson, first 
judge ; John Butler and Peter Conyne, judges ; Sir John Johnson, Daniel 
Claus, Jellis Fonda and John Wells, assistant judges. The first county 
court was organized September 8, 1772. The court-house and jail of 
Tryon county was erected in 1772 by Sir William Johnson, on his own 
land. Both of these buildings are still in use, and having been occa- 
sionally repaired are in good condition and may last another century. 
The former, which fully retains its original appearance, stands on the 
northwest corner of William and Main streets. The bricks used in this 
structure were imported into this country from Holland.' The jail, a 
substantial stone structure, stands in the southeast part of the village, 
on the highest part of South Perry street. 

At the outbreak of the war these buildings were claimed by Sir John 
Johnson as part of his estate ; and, having thus asserted ownership, he 
refused the county committee of safety permission to use them for the 
confinement of those who were considered inimical to the American 
cause. This claim however was denied by the Provincial Congress, which 
held that Sir William (to complete his purpose) conveyed the land 
and buildings " to two gentlemen, in trust," for the use of the county. 
The committee did not at that time press the demand ; but after the de- 
parture of Sir John and his retainers the local authorities seized all the 
property and used it according to their needs. The jail was fortified 
and thus became a place of defence in addition to the purpose for which 
it was originally intended. 

On the 2d of April, 1784, at the request of the inhabitants, the legis- 
lature passed an act changing the name from Tryon to Montgomery 
county, adopting the latter in honor of General Richard Montgomery, 

' This statement has been doubted, and whatever be the tradition, it is highly possible and 
some think highly probable that the brick were made near the court-house. 



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BOUNDARIES. 113 

who was killed at the storming of Quebec, December 31, 1776. The 
statement has been made in one of our earlier chapters (and its accuracy- 
has never been doubted) that Tryon county comprised all that part of 
the province of New York west of the Delaware river and also west of a 
line extending north through Schoharie (as well as along the east lines 
of the present counties of Montgomery, Fulton and Hamilton) and con- 
tinuing in a straight line to Canada. On the 7th of March, 1788, the 
legislature passed an act by which the boundary lines of the several 
counties of the state were described more accurately and in detail ; and 
this act declared Montgomery county to contain all that part of the state 
west of the counties of Ulster, Albany, Washington and Clinton, as they 
were then constituted. On the other hand the " Civil List of the State 
of New York," published in 1886 says: "Tryon county was erected in 
1772, and comprised the country west of a north and south line extend- 
ing from St. Regis to the west bounds of the township of Schenectady ; 
thence running irregularly southwest to the head of the Mohawk branch 
of the Delaware, and along the same to the southeast bounds of the 
pre.scnt county of Broome ; thence in northwesterly direction to Fort 
Bull, on Wood creek, near the present city of Rome ; all west of the 
last mentioned line being Indian territory." This statement, if correct, 
limits Tryon county to a comparatively small area ; but the question 
which statement is correct, is not one for the writer to decide. The 
weight of authority, however, strongly inclines us to the conviction 
that Tryon (succeeded by Montgomery county), included all that part 
of the state west of the east line above mentioned ; while all authorities 
substantially agree upon its east boundary. 

It is interesting in the present connection to note the several counties 
of the state which have been in whole or in part formed from the terri- 
tory originally of old Tryon or Montgomery county. The list, with- 
date of erection of each, being as follows : Ontario,' January 27, 1789; 
Herkimer, February 16, 1791 5 Otsego, February 16, 1791 ; Tioga, 

' The creation o£ Ontario, which was the first division o£ Montgomery county, included all the 
lands of the state lying west of Seneca lake. This territory was ceded hy New York to Massachu- 
setts subject to right of sovereignty and jurisdiction. The two states were long in dispute con- 
cerning this territory and Massachusetts accepted a tract of 2,300,000 acres in settlement. The re- 
gion, was afterward known as the Massachusetts Pre-emption Lands ; being also designated the 
Phelps and Gorham Purchase. 
16 



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114 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

February i6, 1791 ; Onondaga, March 5, 1794; Schoharie (one half), 
April 6, 179s ; Steuben, March 18, 1796; Delaware (part only), March 
10, 1797; Chenango, March 15, 1798; Oneida, March 15, 1798; Cay- 
uga, March 8, 1799 ; St. Lawrence (part only), March 3, 1802 ; Genesee, 
March 30, 1802; Seneca, March 24, 1804; Jefferson, March 28.'i8o5; 
Lewis, March 28,1 805; Madison, March 21,1 806 ; Broome, March 28,1 808; 
Alleghany, April 7, 1806; Cattaraugus, March 11, 1808; Chautauqua, 
March 11, 1808; Niagara, March 11, 1808; Cortland, April 8, 1808; 
Oswego, March i, 1816; Hamilton, April 12, 1816; Tompkins, April 
7, 1817; Livingston, February 23, 1821 ; Monroe, February 23, 1821 ; 
Erie, April 2, 1821 ; Yates, February 5, 1823 ; Wayne, April II, 1823 ; 
Orleans, November 12, 1824; Chemung, March 29, 1836; Fulton, 
April 18, 1838; Wyoming, May 14, 1841 ; Schuyler, April 17, 1854. 

After the passage of the act of 1788, the former system of provisional 
or jurisdictional townships, then called districts, was discontinued, 
towns being created in their stead. The greater part of what is now 
Fulton county was a portion of the Mohawk district, while the Palatine 
district included the western part of the' county. The districts were 
created soon after the formation of Tryon county, and were continued 
as has been stated until superseded by the town. In the redivision 
made pursuant to the act of 1788, that part of the Mohawk district 
which lay north of the river was formed into the town of Caughnawaga, 
whose vast area included the original towns of Johnstown, Mayfield and 
Broadalbin ; therefore contained the greater part of Fulton county. 
The Palatine district was first formed in 1772, and was then known as 
"Stone Arabia," but was changed to Palatine in 1773. By the act 
referred to this district was named "town of Palatine," and included 
(with other territory within its boundaries) the present towns of Strat- 
ford, Oppenheim, Ephratah and part of Caroga. 

On the 1 2th of March, 1793, the town of Caughnawaga was divided 
into three new towns, and named respectively, Johnstown, Mayfield 
and Broadalbin. "Hie first was- by far the largest and most important, 
as it included within its boundaries the towns of Bleecker and Mohawk 
(the latter now in Montgomery county), with a part of Caroga and was, 
(as has been stated) the capital of old Tryon county. It held this 
distinction from 1772 to 1784; and then was the capital of Montgom- 



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CIVIL OFFICERS.' 115 

ery county from 1784 to 1836, and also of Fulton county from 1838 to 
tlie present time. Bleecker was set off from Johnstown April 4, 1831 ; 
Mohawk, April 4, 1837, and the part of Caroga above referred to 
April 1 1, 1842. 

The town of Mayfield was formed from Caughnawaga March 12, 
1793, and its organization perfected in April, 1794. It released part 
of its original territory to Perth on February 17, 1842. 

Broadalbin was formed with Johnstown* and Mayfield out of old 
Caughnawaga, March 12, 1793, and on two occasions it has released 
part of its territory to other towns ; first in 1799, when Northampton 
was set off, and again in 1842, to enlarge the town of Perth. 

While thus referring to the towns in Fulton county we may properly 
mention the dates of their organization which are as follows : Northamp- 
ton was formed from Broadalbin, February i, 1799; Stratford from 
Palatine April 10, 1805 ; Oppenheim too was set off from Palatine 
March 18, 1808, and Ephratah also from Palatine March 27, 1827; 
Bleecker was formed from Johnstown April 4, 183 1, and Perth from 
Amsterdam, April 18, 1838; Caroga was taken from Stratford, Bleeck- 
er and Johnstown, April 11, 1842. 

This reference to town organizations will be suflficient for our present 
purpose in as much as detailed histories of the several towns that com- 
prise Fulton county will be found elsewhere in this volume. It may, 
however, be proper at this time to furnish a list of the civil officers of 
Tryon county and also those of Montgomery count}', since they form 
an important feature in local history and also because Fulton county is 
a part of the same territory. Its civil list naturally belongs to another 
chapter. 

County Judges,' Guy Johnson, May 26, 1772; Jacob Klock, Febru- 
ary 2, 1778; Jellis Fonda, March 22, 1784; Frederick Fisher, March 

27, 1787; Abraham Arndt, January 24, 1801 ; Simon Veeder, January 

28, 1802; John McCarthy, March 2, 1809; Alexander Sheldon, March 
3, 1815 ; Aaron Having February 9, 1819; Abraham Merrill, Febru- 
ary 28, 1833. 

Surrogates, Christopher P. Yates, March 23, 1778 ; Isaac Paris, March 
13. ^7^T> Josiah Crane, April 6, 1790; Charles Walon, February 18, 

1 The date following each name indicates time of appointment or election to office. 



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ii6 HISTOkY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

1800; James Lansing, August 13, 1801 ; Tobias A. Stoughtenburg, 
February 12. 1821. The last named held office until 1838. 

District Attorneys,' (Fifth District), Abraham Van Vechten, Febru- 
ary 16, 1796; George Metcalf, February 16, 1797; George Metcalf, 
1801 ; Daniel L. Van Antwerp, March 16, 181 1 ; Daniel Cady, Febru- 
ary 28, 1813 ; Samuel S. Lusk, April 6, 1813 ; Richard M. Livingston, 
February 16, 1815 ; Alfred Conklin, June 11, 1818; William I. Dodge, 
February 12, 1821; Charles McVean, 1836. 

Sheriffs.^ Alexander White, March 16, 1772; John Frey, September, 
177s (elected by the people); Anthony Van Veghten, appointed by 
provincial committee May 8,-1777 ; Anthony Van Veghten, February 
2, 1778 ; Abraham Van Home, March 27, 1781 ; Samuel Clyde, March 
28, 1785 ; John Winn, February 28, 1789; John Little, February n, 
1793 ; Josiah Crane, February 18, 1795 ; James Hildreth, January 25, 
1798; Benjamin Van Vleck, March 9, 1799; James Hildreth, August 
10, 1 801 ; James Mclntyre, January 29, 1806; Jacob Snell, February 
9, 1 8 10; John Eisenlord, February 9, 181 1 ; Jacob Snell, February 23, 
1813; John Eisenlord, February 16, 1815 ; John Holland, August 28, 
1817; Seth Wetmore, February 12, 1821 ; Seth Wetmore, 1822; 
Charles Easton, 1825; John French, r828; Isaac Jackson, 1831 ; 
Malachi Kettle, 1834; William T. Sammons, 1838. 

County Clerks, Christopher P.Yates, September >24, 1777 ; Daniel 
Paris, January 25, 1800; Henry Frey Yates, January 6, 1802; John 
McCarthy, March 3, 1815 ; Peter H. Bostwick, February i, 1821 ; 
Henry Frey Yates, February 2, 1822 ; Henry Frey Yates, November 
1822; George D. Ferguson, 1825 ; Alex. J. Comrie, 1828 ; George D. 
Ferguson, 1831; Alexander J. Comrie, 1837. 

1 The original of this office was " Assistant Attorney-General." The districts embraced several 
counties, and were seven in number at first, but afterwards increased. (Act Feb. iz, 1796.) The 
office of district attorney was created April 4, 1801. Each county was made a separate district in 
April 1818. 

« During the Colonal period SherifEs were appointed annually ; but since the Constitution of 
1821, the office has been elevated, the incumbents being ineligible for the next succeeding term. 



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GROWTH AND PROSPERITY. 117 



CHAPTER XIII. 

Situation in the Mohawk Valley Prior to the War of 1812 — Its Peace and Prosperity — 
Events Preceding the War — Causes Leading to It — British Aggressions — American 
Retaliations — Declaration of War — Militia Called into Service — Regiments formed in 
the Valley — Their Services — The Return of Peace. 

rOR more than a quarter of a century following the close of the 
revolution nothing occurred to interrupt or retard the progress of 
settlement and development in the Mohawk valley. During this period 
indeed the latter was favored in an unusual degree. The New England 
pioneers were a hardy and patriotic class, and under their energetic 
efforts lands were cleared, and the forests gave place to farms of rare 
fertility, thus developing the agricultural resources, while at an early 
day attempts were also made to introduce manufactures, at least to an 
extent which supplied domestic requirements. 

While speaking of the New Englanders, however, we are not to be 
understood as giving this class undue prominence. They bore their 
share in general improvement but only extended the settlements of the 
original pioneers. The sturdy Dutch and the equally sturdy Germans 
were here long irt advance of the Yankees, but they found homes near 
the Mohawk, while in the territory now included in Fulton county, the 
New England colonistB made their successful efforts. Here too, how- 
ever, soon appeared the German element, the descendants of the Pala- 
tines, and others of the same nation imbued with the same spirit of 
enterprise and progress. During the period referred to this region 
acquired its greatest comparative growth in population, and with this 
came power to sustain the nation during peril. Hence, when the first 
murmurings of another war with Great Britain was heard this part of 
the state was well prepared to endure its hardships and its taxation ; 
and the part it bore in the great conflict must be made the subject of 
special mention. In one respect at least the people of this locality were 
favored during the course of the war of i8t2-is, inasmuch they had 



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ii8 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTS. 

not to defend their homes against hostile Indians ; and in the warlike 
preparations which were made in Montgomery county there was not 
required any force to protect the rapidly increasing settlements ; but 
let us now briefly refer to the causes which led to the war, after which 
we shall mention the service which the soldiers of this country 
endured. 

During the five years immediately preceding the war of 1812 the 
whole country was in a state of nominal peace, but still there was gath- 
ering in the political horizon a dark cloud which increased until it boded 
another foreign war. During the revolution America contended for 
independence and won that -precious boon; in 1 8 12 she engaged in 
another war with the mother country to maintain that independence 
on which British aggression had insolently trespassed. 

The United States had always honorably observed the provisions of 
the treaty made with Great Britain at the close of the revolution. There 
had been maintained, too, a strict neutrality during the progress of the 
Napoleonic war, when, perhaps, every consideration of gratitude should 
have induced an alliance against the mother country. For several years 
the aggressive acts of the British had been a subject of anxiety and 
regret to Americans, and indeed had created bitter indignation. The 
embargo laid by Congress upon the shipping in American ports (as a 
means of safety) was found so injurious to commercial interests that it 
was repealed, and the non-intercourse act was passed in its stead. In 
April, 1809, the British ambassador in Washington opened negotiations 
for the adjustment of existing difificulties, and consented to a with- 
drawal of the obnoxious English " orders in council," so far as they 
aflfected the United States, on condition that the non-intercourse act be 
repealed. This was agreed upon, and the President issued a proclama- 
tion announcing that, on the loth of June, trade with Great Britain 
might be resumed. The British government, however, refused to ratify 
the proceedings and the minister was recalled, whereupon the president 
revoked his proclamation, and the non-intercourse act went into opera- 
tion. 

The most odious of all British aggressions was the claim made of 
" right of search," in pursuance of which British cruisers stopped 
American vessels, on the ocean and seized such of their crews as they 



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THE WAR OF 1812. 119 

suspected to be subjects of the king, forcing them into their own serv- 
ice. This claim led to outrages to which no American could submit, 
and the only choice left to the nation was war or disgraceful humiliation. 

On the 1 2th of June, 1812, President Madison sent a confidential 
message to Congress, in which he recapitulated the long list of British 
aggressions, and declared it the duty of Congress to consider whether 
the American people should longer passively submit, but at the same 
time he cautioned the house to avoid entanglements with other powers 
that then were hostile to Britain. 

The result of the message and the deliberations of Congress was a 
formal declaration of war on the 19th of June, 1812; but the measure 
was not unanimously sustained and approved in all parts of the Middle 
and New England states. The opposing element held that the country 
was not prepared for war and asked for further negotiations. They 
also met the denunciations of the ruling party against the British with 
bitter attacks upon Napoleon, whom they accused the war party with 
favoring. The war party was led by Henry Clay and the opposition 
by John Randolph, both men of great ability and, in fact, the two giants 
of Congress. 

A detail of the events of the war that followed need have no place in 
these pages. The results of the struggle against renewed oppression 
are written in the conflicts on Lake Erie, the repulse of the invaders on 
the Delaware, the painful and humiliating scenes of the Chesapeake, the 
invasion of New York and the attempt to control the Hudson river and 
Lake Champlain. The story is further told in the battle at Plattsburg, 
the capture of Niagara and OsWego, the battles at Black Rock, Lundy's 
Lane, Sackett's Harbor, and closing with the brilliant defence of New 
Orleans. Above all, however, were the splendid exploits of our navy 
whose victories over the British cruisers gave the enemy the most seri- 
ous view of American prowess. Peace, however, came at last, and the 
treaty was ratified February 15, 1815. 

The outbreak of the war of 181 2 awoke a martial spirit throughout 
this region of country, for many of the settlers had seen service in the 
revolution, and their sons were now enrolled in the militia. That mar- 
tial spirit which came with the pioneers was manifested in later years 
only on the old fashioned " general training," when the farmer, the 



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I20 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

mechanic and the professional man hied to the annual " muster " for a 
season of jollification, to eat Yankee ginger-bread, drink new cider, and 
boast of the American eagle. 

In February, i8i2, apprehetisive of approaching war. Congress passed 
a law to organize an army of twenty-five thousand men, and shortly 
afterward Daniel D. Tompkins, governor of the state, addressed the leg- 
islature, advising full preparation for the contest. In April following 
one hundred thousand of the nation's enrolled militia were called upon 
to organize for service, the quota of New York being thirteen thousand 
five hundred men. These were organized in two divisions and eight 
brigades. The fourth brigade comprised the loth, nth, I2th and 13th 
regiments, the members of which were from the Mohawk valley. This 
brigade was under command of General Richard Dodge, then a resident 
of Johnstown. 

The services of the militia from this locality were important in char- 
acter, though not specially severe. One of the brigades was stationed 
at Sackett's Harbor where its duty was to guard the supplies stored 
there, and as well defend that post. General Dodge made this his 
headquarters September 21, 1812. The post was afterward. May 24, 
18 1 3, attacked by the British, but they were repulsed. Nevertheless, 
in the fear that the supplies might fall into the hands of the enemy, 
they were destroyed before the repulse was effected. The Thirteenth 
regiment was in the battle at Queenstown Heights, but the principal 
service performed by it was guarding the frontier, not only against the 
possibiHty of invasion, but as well to prevent the smuggling of goods 
from Canada into the states. 



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TRYON AND MONTGOMERY COUNTIES. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

County Organizations — Tryon and Montgomery Counties Briefly Reviewed — The 
Montgomery County Seat Moved to Fonda — Dissatisfaction in the Northern Towns 

— Pulton County Created — Its County Seat and Buildings — County Civil List — 
Presidential Electors — Representatives in Congress — Justices of the Supreme Court 

— Members of Assembly — County Judges — Surrogates — Sheriffs — County Clerks 

— Treasurers — School Commissioners — Growth and Population of Fulton County. 

AS has been stated in preceding chapters of this volume, Tryon 
county was created from the original county of Albany in 1772, 
and the seat of justice of the new county was immediately located at 
Johnstown. The public buildings, which have been sufficiently described 
in an earlier chapter, were erected under the direction and at the per- 
sonal expense of Sir William Johnson, the founder of the village, and in 
fact the founder of Tryon county. After his death, and during the 
early years of the revolution, Sir John Johnson claimed ownership of 
these properties as heir of his father, and denied the use* of the court 
house and jail for the confinement of tories, this use being demanded 
by the patriotic committees. The government on the other hand 
claimed that Sir William had conveyed the property to two persons in 
trust for the people of Tryon county. This question, however, was 
finally settled by the flight of Sir John, who, as has been previously 
mentioned, took up his abode in Montreal. His entire estate was then 
confiscated and sold, the county buildings being thenceforth public 
property. 

Tryon county, as has been mentioned, received its name in honor of 
William Tryon, the governor of the province, and a base tool in the 
royal service. He was wholly devoted to the British interests, and did 
every thing in his power to defeat the cause of liberty. Hence it was 
only natural that his name should be offensive to the victorious Ameri- 
cans, and when, in 1784, the affairs of the state of New York were re- 
arranged no voice was raised against the proposal to change Tryon to 
Montgomery; thus substituting in place of a detested tory the name of 
a patriotic martyr. 

16 



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122 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

Montgomery county included the territory of Fulton county from 
1784 to 1838, a period of fifty- four years. During that period the 
population of its towns increased to a manifold degree, and in no region 
was that increase more rapid than in the Mohawk valley. Amsterdam, 
Fultonville, Canajoharie, Fort Plain and other former hamlets had by 
1836 become villages of importance, and tJieir inhabitants (particularly 
the legal profession) were clamorous for a change in the location of the 
county seat from old historic Johnstown to some place more convenient 
of access. The arguments for the change, indeed, were well founded, 
Johnstown being several miles distant from the Mohawk river, and 
separated by a hilly and ill-kept road, whose only public conveyance 
was the stage. Hence when a strong petition of the river residents was 
presented to the state legislature at the session of 1836, that body could 
not justly refuse the prayer, and Fonda was designated the county seat, 
the name being derived from that old and historic family whose descend- 
ants still dwell in the same vicinity. 

The removal of the public buildings from Johnstown to Fonda, while 
it wrought a great benefit to the majority, naturally created deep indig- 
nation in the northern towns, whose inhabitants resisted the removal in 
the most intense manner, and only submitted with the hope of relief in 
the formation of a new county. The removal indeed led them to peti- 
tion for a division of old Montgomery ; and a new county became a 
necessity to the northern inhabitants. The legislature, in harmony 
with this movement, passed an act on April 18, 1838, creating Fulton 
county, Johnstown being naturally designated as the capital, and the 
old public buildings were again brought into service, 

Fulton county, as thus created, has an area of five hundred and forty- 
four square miles, which when reduced to acres gives us the area of 
three hundred and forty-eight thousand one hundred and sixty, and as 
it has been sufficiently described in our opening chapter we will not de- 
lay by a repetition. In our history of Johnstown the pubHc buildings 
are also fully described, and hence no extended reference is here re- 
quired. 

FULTON COUNTY CIVIL LIST. 

Presidential Electors. Matthias B. Hildreth, 1804; Alexander J. 
Coffin, 1824; Archibald Mclntyre, 1828; John Fay, 1844; Clark S. 



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CIVIL LIST. ,23 

Grinnell, 1852; Daniel Cady, I'8s6 ; Henry Churchill, i860; Allen C. 
Churchill, 1864; Daniel B. Judson, 1876. 

Representatives in Congress. Thomas Sammons, Eighth Congress, 
October 7, 1803, to March 27, 1804, and November 5, 1804, to March 
3, 1805 ; Thomas Sammons, Ninth Congress, December 2, 1805, to 
April II, 1806, and December i, 1806, to March 3' 1807; Thomas 
Sammons, Eleventh Congress, May 22 to June 28, 1809; November 
27, 1809, to May I, 1810, and December 3, 1810, to March 3, 1811 ; 
Thomas Sammons, Twelfth Congress, November 4, 181 1, to July 6, 
1812, and November 2, l8i2,to March 3, 1813 ; Daniel Cady, Four- 
teenth Congress, December 4, 181 5, to April 30, 1 8 16, and December i, 
18 16, to March 3, 1817 ; John Fay, Sixteenth Congress, December 6, 
1819, to May 15, 1820, and November 13, 1820, to March 3, 1821 ; Al- 
fred Conkling, Seventeenth Congress, December 3, 1821, to May 8, 
1822, and December 2, 1822, to March 3, 1823; John W. Cady, 
Eighteenth Congress, December i, 1823, to May 26, 1824, and De- 
cember 6, 1824, to March 3, 1825; Charles McVean, Twenty-third 
Congress, December 2, 1833, to June 30, 1834, and December i, 
1834, to March 3, 1835; John Edwards, Twenty-fifth Congress, Sept- 
ember 4 to October 16, 1837, December 4, 1837, to July 9, 1838, 
and December 3, 1838, to March 3, 1839; John Wells, Thirty-second 
Congress, December i, 1851, to August 31, 1852, and December 6, 
1852, to March 2, 1853 ; John M. Carroll, Forty-second Congress, March 
4 to April 20, 1871. December 4, 1871, to June u, 1872, and De- 
cember 2, 1872, to March 3, 1873. 

Justices of the Supreme Court. Daniel Cady, June 7, 1847; No- 
vember 6, 1849. 

Councillor. Sir William Johnson, 1651-74. 

Members of Assembly. Upon the creation of the county in 1838, 
Fulton and Hamilton counties formed one assembly district, the repre- 
sentatives of which, with the year of their service, are recorded as fol- 
lows : James. Yauney, 1839; Langdon I Marvin, 1840; Jennison G. 
Ward, 1 841 ; John Patterson, 1842; John L. Hutchinson, 1843 ; James 
Harris, 1844; Garrett A. Newkirk, 1845; Clark S. Grinnell, 1846; 
Darius Moore, 1847; Isaac Benedict, 1848; John Culb^rt, 1849; Cy- 
rus H. Brownell, 1850; John Stewart, 1851 ; Alfred N. Haner, 1852; 



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124 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

William A. Smith, 1853; Wesley Gleason, 1854; Wesley Gleason, 
185s; Isaac Lefevre, 1856; Patrick McFarlan, 1857; John C. Holmes, 
1858; Henry W. Spencer, 1859; James Kennedy, i860; James How- 
ard Burr, 1 861 ; James Howard Burr, 1862 ; Willard J. Heacock, 1863 ; 
William A. Smith, 1864; Walter M. Clark, 1865 ; Joseph Covell, 
1866, 1867; Samuel W. Buell, 1868; William F. Barker, 1869; John 
F. Empie, 1870; Mortimer Wade, 1871 ; Samuel W. Buell, 1872; Wil- 
lard J. Heacock, 1873 ; John Sunderlin, 1874 ; George W. Fay, 1875 ; 
John J. Hanson, 1876; George W. Fay, 1877 ; John W. Peck, 1878, 
1879; David A. Wells, 1880, 1881 ; James W. Green, 1882; Richard 
Murray, 1883; Linn L. Boyce, 1884; Alden W. Berry, 1885, 1886, 
1887; Lewis Brownell, 1888, 1889; John Christie, 1890, 1891 ; Hor- 
ace S. Judson, 1892. 

County Judges. Donald Mclntyre, January 17, 1840; Marcellus 
Weston, January 17, 1845 I John Wells, June, 1847 ! Nathan J. John- 
son, December 10, 1850; John Stewart, November, 1855 ; -Mclntyre 
Fraser, November, 1871 ; Ashley D. L. Baker, November, 1877 ; Jere- 
miah Keck, November, 1883 i re elected November, 1889. 

Surrogates. Archibald McFarlan, July 17, 1838 ; served until June, 
1848, when the office of surrogate merged into that of county judge. 

District Attorneys.' John W. Cady, January 20, 1840; Clark S. 
Grinnell, April 10, 1840; Thomas L.Wakefield, June, 1.847; Alex. H. 
Ayers, July 20, 1849; William Wait, November, 1849; John H. H. 
Frisbie, November, 1853; James W.Dudley, May 3, 1853; John S. 
Enos, November, 1853, November, 1856; John M. Carroll, November, 
1859; Richard H.Rosa, Novembe.r, 1862, '65, '68, '71 ; Jerry Keck, 
November, 1874, 'tT, Clayton M. Parke, November, 1880, '83; Will- 
iam Green, 1886, '89. 

Sherififs.i David J. McMartin, 1838 ; Knapthalie Cline, 1841 ; Mi- 
chael Thompson, 1844; Daniel Potter, 1847; Amasa Shipple, 1850; 
Elisha Bentley, 1853; Bradford T.Simmons, 1856; Austin Kasson, 
1859; Jacob P. Miller, 1862; James Pierson, 1865; William P. Bray- 
ton, 1868 ; Oliver Getman, 1871 ; John Dunn, 1874; Hiram Praim, 
1877; Robert Humphrey, jr., 1880; John E Leavitt, 1883 ; Daniel E. 
Sutliff, 1886; John E. Leavitt, 1889. 

' Date of appointment or election to office. 



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POPULATION. 125 

County Clerks.' Tobias Stoutenburgh, 1838; Stephen Wait, 1841, 
'44, '47; Peter W. Plantz, 1850; Archibald Anderson, 1853; Morti- 
mer Wade, 1854, '57, '60, '63, '66, '69, '72, '75; William S. McKie, 
1877, '80; Robert Humphrey, jr., 1883; John T. Selmser, 1886, '89. 

County Treasurers.' Daniel Stewart, 1845 \ Burnett H. Dewey, 
1846; Rodney H. Johnson, 1847; Archibald Anderson, 1848, '51; 
Daniel Edwards, 1854; Eugene Bertrand, 1857; David Wells, i860; 
Burnett H. Dewey, 1863, '66, '69; James P. Argersinger, 1872, '75; 
James M. Dougall, 1878, '8i ; Henry W. Potter, 1885, '87; John F. 
Cahill, 1890. 

School Commissioners.' The first election under the act creating the 
office of school commissioner was held in November, 1859; prior to 
that time, and by an act passed April 17, 1843, the boards of super- 
visors were to appoint " County Superintendents of Common Schools." 
This office was abolished March 13, 1847. The County Superintend- 
ents of Common Schools in Fulton County were Flavel B. Sprague and 
Abner Ripley, in succession. The School Commissioners, with date of 
election, have been as follows: William Wait, 1855 ; Elisha B. Towner, 
1857; Ira H. Van Ness, i860; Lucius F. Burr, 1863, '66 ; Cyrus 
Stewart, 1 869 ; John M. Dougall, 1872; James H. Foote, 1875 ; Dan- 
iel D. Crouse, 1878, '81 ; Joseph B. Thyne, 1884, '87; William B. 
Crouse, 1890. 

Population of Fulton County. As this county had no separate ex- 
istence before the year 1838, it cannot be said to have had any popu- 
lation except as its towns formed a part of Montgomery county ; in re- 
cording the population of that portion of Montgomery county which in 
1838 was formed into Fulton, the facts must be furnished without re- 
gard to countj'^ organization. 

In 1790, the yejir of the first federal census, Montgomery county had 
a population of 18,261, but by the creation of other counties out of its 
territory the enumeration of 1800 gave it a population of only 13,015, 
In 1 8 10 it had increased to 23,007, but notwithstanding constant and 
rapid growth, other county formations out of its territory again reduced 
the total, for tiie census of i820,gave Montgomery only 21,846 inhab- 
itants. In i'630 the number of inhabitants was 23,264. Ib 1838 Ful- 

' Date of appointment oj election to office. 



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126 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTi. 

ton was organized and took from the mother county about i8,000 per- 
sons, the total population of the towns thus set off being 18,049. 

At the time of the first census enumeration (1790), none of the pres- 
ent towns of Fulton county had any organization, at least, under their 
modern names. In 1793, Broadalbin, Johnstown and Mayfield were 
created from the old town of Caughnawaga, and the first enumeration 
of their inhabitants was made in 1800. Northampton was likewise cre- 
ated from Broadalbin in 1799 and was enumerated first in 1800. The 
following table is designed to show the population of the Fulton county 
towns which were in existence prior to the erection of the county in 
1838. In explanatibn, however, it maybe stated that the federal cen- 
sus of 1 8 10 was returned to the state autherities of New York by coun- 
ties and not by towns ; in view of which the growth in population from 
1800 to 1 8 14 is shown by the state enumeration made in the year last 

mentioned. 

1800. 

Broadalbin 1,133 

Johnstown 3,832 

Mayfield 876 

Northampton 990 

Oppenheim 

Stratford - 

Total 6,831 14,491 15,723 18,576 

The following statement shows the population of the towns of Ful- 
ton county between the years 1840 and 1890, as given in the federal 
census taken at the end of each decade. 

Towns. 1840. 

Bleecker 346 

Broadalbin 2,738 

Caroga 

Bphratah 2.000 

Gloversville, 1st Ward 

" 2d Ward 

" 3d Ward 

4th Ward 

" 5th Ward 

6th Ward 

Johnstown 5,409 

Mayfield 2,615 

Northampton 1,526 

Sppenheim 2,169 

Perth 737 

Stratford 500 



I8I4. 


1820, 


1830. 


2,369 


2,428 


2,657 


6,373 


6,527 


7,700 


1,704 


2,026 


2.614 


1,346 


1,291 


1,392 


2,380 


3,045 


3,660 


319 


407 


522 



iSso. 


i860. 


I«7o. 


1880, 


1890. 


510 


1,062 


970 


1,046 


816 


2,476 


2,534 


2,912 


2,175 


2,021 


689 


629 


828 


855 


624 


2,079 


2,202 


2,207 


2,157 


1.864 
2,717 
1,876 
2,354 
2,909 
1,487 
2,621 
10,959 


6,131 


8,811 


12,273 


16,626 


2,429 


2,367 


2,241 


2,231 


2,181 


1,701 


1,937 


1,927 


2,069 


1,992 


2,315 


2,363 


1,950 


1,845 


1,663 


1,140 


1,085 


1,013 


915 


769 


801 


1,172 


1,163 


1,066 


998 



Total 18,049 20,170 24,162 27,064 30,985 37,650 



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FULTON COUNIY'S ENLISTMENTS. 127 



CHAPTER XV. 
FULTON COUNTY IN THE REBELLION. 

f^'HE record of the volunteers of Fulton county from the firing on 
Fort Sumter until secession was buried at Appomattox by Lee's 
surrender, forms one of the most brilliant chapters of the history of the 
-county. To do justice to their services it would be necessary to record 
the various regiments in which they served. We, however, have only 
space to refer briefly to the subject and this is probably all that will be 
required since the history of nearly every regiment has been written in 
detail, a copy of which is in the hands of almost every comrade. All 
these records combine to f jrm an unbroken chain of testimony to 
demonstrate the patriotic heroism of the men of Fulton county. 

While avoiding all that may tend to sectional animosity the historian 
cannot but review with pride the achievements of our patriot host. 
Would the Athenians omit Marathon or the Romans forget how Ho- 
ratius kept the bridge ? It was the memory of Marathon which fixed 
the home of civilization in Europe instead of Asia. Thus with the sur- 
render at Appomattox. It is the memory of the bloody fields that pre- 
ceded it which now cements our nation in perpetual union. The value 
of freedom is in proportion to its cost, and the total overthrow of the 
slave power in America required a national sacrifice which never should 
be forgotten. Hence as later generations read the record of America's 
citizen soldiery from i86r to 1865 it may inspire them anew with the 
patriotic sentiment of " The country first, the citizen afterward." 

Glancing over the records of the New York volunteers it is found that 
Fulton county men were in no less than eighteen regiments, in some of 
which, however, there was but a small representation. In the Seventy- 
seventh regiment the county supplied the greater part of two companies 
and a lesser portion of two others. Companies £ and K of the One 
Hundred and Fifteenth regiment were enlisted almost wholly in the 
county. Of the One Hundred and Fifty- third regiment. Companies A 



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128 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTS. 

and D were recruited at Johnstown, while Company F was composed 
mainly of men from the northwest part of the county. Company I of 
the Tenth cavalry, better known as Captain David Getman's company, 
was raised by its commanding officer in Mayfield and Broadalbin. 
Among the other regiments to which the county contributed any con- 
siderable number may be mentioned the Ninety-seventh, together with 
the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Sixteenth regiments of artillery also 
the Second and Third cavalry, and the Seventy- seventh and the Ninety- 
third Infantry. The principal commands, however, that is, those which 
contained the greatest number of Fulton county volunteers, were the 
One Hundred and Fifteenth and the One Hundred and Fifty-third 
regiments, which for this reason are entitled to more extended mention, 
but full justice will be done to all who enlisted from Fulton county, 
with both the company and the regiment in which they did service. 

THE SEVENTY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 

Tliis regiment was mustered into service November 23, 1861, at Be- 
mis Heights. James B. McKean was elected colonel ; Joseph A. 
Henderson, lieutenant-colonel ; and Selden Hetzel, major. Seven men 
of Company D were enlisted in Northampton ; three of Company E at 
Fonda's Bush (in Broadalbin) ; eleven of Company F in Bleecker, and 
Company K at Gloversville, although a portion of its men were from 
adjoining towns, as will appear from the appended roll. 

Immediately after being organized the Seventy- seventh started for 
the field of active service, reaching Washington in December, 1861, 
went into camp on Meridian Hill. The regiment was incorporated with 
the Army of the Potomac on its first organization, and thus continued 
until its disbandment. It bore a full part in all the sufferings of that 
war-worn army from the beginning of McClellan's campaign to the close 
of the great conflict. That its services were severe is attested by the 
records of thirty battles, and that they were gallantly performed is evi- 
dent from the losses on those bloody fields which so rapidly diminished- 
its ranks. One or two instances will illustrate the character and endur- 
ance of this noble regiment. In the battle of White Oak Swamp the 
division in which the Seventy- seventh belonged was suddenly assailed 



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SEVENTY- SEVENTH REGIMENT. 129 

by a superior force of the enemy. The regiment was stationed some 
distance from its brigade, and could not be immediately reinforced 
owing to the severity of the confederate fire. " Not proposing to move 
without orders," as one of the members said, it heroically maintained its 
position, but in so doing barely escaped capture before the arrival of 
relief 

At the battle of Spottsylvania, May 10, 1864, the Seventy- seventh 
was selected with several other regiments to form an assaulting column 
to charge the enemy's lines. The attack continued scarcely more than 
fifteen minutes, but was of the fiercest and bloodiest character, and when 
it terminated the regiment left on the field twenty of its number, being 
about one-fourth of its strength engaged in that bloody action. 

The regiment also bore an important part in McClellan's campaign 
in the peninsula. At Mechanicsville it captured a guidon belonging to 
a Georgia regiment and also did good service at Gaines' Mills and at 
Savage's Station, and in all the movement toward Richmond, which 
terminated at Malvern Hill. It was also engaged at Second Bull Run, 
atCramptonPass and at Antietam, closing a year of conflictby the fight 
at Fredericksburg on December 13th. In January, 1863, it encountered 
the horrors of the "Mud Campaign." At Marye's Heights, on May 3, the 
regiment captured the flag of the Eighteenth Mississippi; it also fought 
at Rappahannock Station, Robinson's Tavern and at Gettysburg. In the 
campaign of 1864 it was in Grant's campaign through the Wilderness, 
and fought at Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor and Fort Stevens. Trans- 
ferred to the Shenandoah Valley, it engaged in the other decisive battles 
of the campaign of which Fisher's Hill and Cedar Creek were the most 
important. 

In November, 1864, at the expiration of its term of enlistment, the 
regiment was mustered out of service ; but it left in the field a battalion 
chiefly composed of veterans who re- enlisted, with the addition of new 
recruits and which was designated the Seventy- seventh Battalion New 
York State Volunteers. This battalion did good service at the final 
siege of Petersburg, and in the assault on April 2, its flags and guidons 
were the first colors on the enemy's works. It was mustered out June 
27, 1865. 

17 



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,3o HISTORY OF FUL20N COUNTY. 

The regiment had 1,463 men on its rolls, of whom seventy-five were 
killed in battle, forty died of wounds, and 148 of disease. 

Company D — Enrolled at Northampton. 

Erskin B. Branch, Charles E. Denel, William N. French, Lewis 
Mackay, Amasa N. Morgan, Jonathan Morgan, Henry Royce. 

Company E — Enrolled at Fonda's Bush. 
Lyman Cole, James Cole, James E. Hines. 

Company F- — Enrolled at Bleecker. 

Cornelius Van Slyke, fifth corporal ; Jonathan Dean, jr., Henry Franc, 
Nicholas Geltylahter, George Hess, John L. Kenitly, Cornelius Quinn, 
John A. Rerchler, Earnest Smidt, Frederick Strancher, Joseph Swartz. 

Company K — Enrolled at Gloversville. 

Captain, Nathan S. Babcock. 

First lieutenant, John W. McGregor. 

Second lieutenant. Philander A. Cobb. 

Sergeants, Ansil Dennison, Edgar W. Dennison, William Stewder, 
Henry Allen, Arthur Scott. 

Corporals, Calvin B. Allen, Stephen Redshaw, John Dance, John A. 
Walrath, John Lee, George Glass, William H. Wright, Hiram M. 
Bissell. 

Privates, John Allen, Lewis Burk, Peter Birdsall, Edwin Bissell, John 
Barne, Edward N. Bailey, James W. Cherry, Samuel Clark, Sanford E. 
Campbell, Charles E. Cheedell, Daniel H. Cole, Charles S. Cole, Elias 
Coon, Andrew P. Denel, Michael Fancher, James A. Farthing, Charles 
R. Fisher, Robert Gingill, John W. Hines, William Hawley, William 
Johnson, Charles Johnson, Peter Kehoe, Oscar Martin, James Mcintosh, 
Charles P. Mcintosh, William H. Miller, John Northrop, James O'Bryan, 
Monroe Place, Dyer Peck, Taylor Peck, Yale A. Pool, Charles Phelps, 
Charles E. Place, Francis Reid, Edward Sutlifif, Oliver SutlifiF, Richard 
N. Shaff, Erastus Sharp, Elias W. Smith, George D. Scott, Andrew 
Spring, Harlan A. Thomas, Bradley Vanderburg, Seneca Van Ness, 
Peter E. V^n Natta, Krimer Wilcox, Charles E. Wetherbee, Joseph 



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NINETY-THIRD REGIMENT. 131 

Welch, from Gloversville ; James F. Austin, Hiram B. Gififord, from 
Broadalbin ; Jacob Fung, Lorenzo Phillips, from Bleecker. 

THE NINETY-THIRD REGIMENT INFANTRY. 

This regiment was organized at Albany, N. Y., by the consolidation 
of several companies, including Major Butler's battalion of sharpshoot- 
ers, which had been raised originally to form apart of the Seventy-sixth 
New York Regiment. The Ninety third was mustered into service be- 
tween October, 1861, and January, 1862 ; and when fully organized 
and in the field was known by several names, viz. : the Washington 
County Regiment, Morgan Rifles, Northern Sharpshooters, and New 
York Riflemen. The regiment left for the front March 7, 1862 ; it 
served first in Palmer's Brigade, Casey's Division, Fourth Corps, Arm)' 
of the Potomac, beginning in March, 1862. Companies B, C, D, E, G, 
and I were at the White House serving as provost guard from May 19, 
1862, until July following. Then the regiment was reunited, and as 
such was attached to the Second Brigade, Third Division, Second Corps 
of the Army of the Potomac, and served with honor until mustered out 
June 29, 1865. 

In this regiment the Fulton county contingent numbered about fifty 
men, who formed a part of Company D. The list of battles in which 
the Ninety- third took part is as follows : (1862) Siege of Yorktown, 
April 17, May 4; Lee's Mill, April 28 ; Williamsburg, May 5 ; Seven 
Days' Battle, June 25-July 2 ; Malvern Hill, July i ; Antietam, Sep- 
tember 17; Fredericksburg, December 11-.15. (1863) — Chancellors- 
ville, May 1-3 ; Gettysburg, July 1-3 ; Mine Run Camp, November 
26, December 2. (1864) — Wilderness, May 5-7 ; Spottsylvania, May 
8-21; Corbin's Bridge, May 8 ; Po Piver, May 9-10; Laurel Hill, 
10; Salient, May 12 ; Harris House, May 19; North Anna, May 22- 
26; Tolopotomoy, May 27-31; Cold Harbor, June 1-12; before 
Petersburg, June 15 and April 2, '65 : assault on Petersburg, June 15- 
19; Weldon Railroad, June 21-23; Deep Bottom, July 27-29 ; Straw- 
berry Plains, August 14-18 ; Poplar Spring Church, October 2 ; Boy- 
den Plank Road, October 27-28; Hicksford Raid, December 6-11. 
(1865) — Hatcher's Run, February 5-7; Petersburg works, March 25 ; 



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132 BISIORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

Appamattox campaign, March 28, April 9 ; White Oak Ridge, March 
29-31 ; Fall of Petersburg, April 2 ; Deatonsville Road, April 6; High 
Bridge, April 7, Appomattox Court House, April 9. 

Muster Roll, Company D. 

Captain, George M. Voorhees. 

First Lieutenant, Henry P. Smith. 

Second Lieutenant, Philemon B. Marvin. 

Sergeants, A. Burr Beecher ; William W. Clark ; Edward Van 
Slyke. 

Corporals, Major Colory ; William EUithorp ; Alexander Case ; Em- 
mett Brown ; Abel J. Potter ; Gordon J. Colson ; George L. Schemer- 
horn. 

Privates, Charles Armstrong, Desman Bowman, John Bentley, Clark 
A. Bentley. jr., Cordenio Bass, John Burns, Urial C. Buck, Andrew J. 
Cook, John Costello, Waldron G. Evans, William J. Evans, Joseph 
Fontier, John H. Flynn, John Gardiner, Royal A. Harris, Franklin 
Holden, Michael Harrigan, John Hodson, Noah L. Johnson, Charles 
Jaggs, Joseph Morrison, Elias P. Newton, (Broadalbin) Joseph A Olm- 
stead, Thomas Peercell, Justin Poscoe, George Royce, William H. 
Rhodes, Henry A. Rice, Edward Rickerson, Jefferson Sleezer, Clinton 
Schemerhorn, Eleazer Slocum, Benjamin Sweet, Hayden Shew, Fran- 
cis E. Soule, Orlin Van Beeren, William P. Wells. 

THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 

The Fulton county contribution of men for this regiment was mainly 
enlisted in Company F, although other companies, D, K and I had some 
recruits from the county. The regiment was mustered into service 
February 18, 1862, with field and staff officers as follows: Charles 
Wheelock, colonel; J. P. Spofford, lieutenant- colonel ; Charles North- 
rup, major ; Charles Buck, adjutant ; Joel T. Comstock, quartermaster. 

In May, 1862, the Ninty- seventh was assigned to General Duryea's 
Brigade, General Rickett's Division, and was under General McDowell 
during the campaign in the Shenandoah Valley. In December, 1863, 
the regiment was assigned to the Second Brigade, Second Division and 



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NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 133 

First Army Corps. The battles in which it participated were as fol- 
lows : Cedar Mountain, August 9, 1862 ; Rappahannock Station, Au- 
gust 23, 1862 ; Thoroughfare Gap, August 28, 1862 ; Second Bull Run, 
August 30, 1862; Chantilly, September i, 1862; South Mountain, 
Md., September 14, 1862; Antietam, September 17, 1862; Freder- 
icksburg, December 13, 1862; Chancellorsville, May i, 1863; Gettys- 
burg, July 1-3, 1863. 

Roster Company F. 

Captain, Stephen G. Hutchinson, Lassellsville ; discharged Septem- 
ber 22, 1862. 

First Lieutenant, E. Gray Spencer, Brocket's Bridge ; wounded at 
Antietam; discharged December 29, 1862. 

Corporal, Olaf Peterson, Lassellsville ; transferred to Co. D. 

Corporal, Augustus Johnson, Brocket's Bridge ; from First Sergeant 
October, 1862 ; veteran. 

Corporal Wallace McLaughlin, Lassellsville ; died of disease, Sep- 
tember 26, 1 86 1. 

Corporal Henry Fical, Lassellsville; wounded at Bull Run; dis- 
charged December 21, 1862. 

Corporal William B. Judd, Brocket's Bridge ; promoted to commis- 
sary sergeant ; to second lieutenant ; to adjutant, December 29, 1863. 

Musician, Henry F. Butler, Lassellsville ; discharged September 26, 
1862. 

Musician, George F. Dempster, Lassellsville ; died of disease Sep- 
tember 26, 1862. 

Privates. 

James Adsit, Lassellsville ; wounded at Antietam; died October 18, 
1862. 

Melvin C. Austin, Stratford; discharged March 21, 1863. 

Albert Argersinger, Lassellsville ; wounded at Antietam ; died July 
29, 1863. 

Lambert Bellinger, Brocket's Bridge, discharged November i, 1862. 

Casper Brock, Lassellsville; discharged February 10, 1863. 

Daniel Bleekman, Stratford; discharged February 14, 1862. 

James A. Bolster, Lassellsville ; wounded at Gettysburg. 



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134 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

William Campbell, Lassellsville ; wounded at Fredericksburg; dis- 
charged July 28, 1863. 

John S. Dalryruple, Stratford; discharged November 28, 1862. 

Rufus Doxtader, Brocket's Bridge; discharged June 12, 1862. 

William H. Edwards, Lassellsville; appointed corporal November i, 
1863. 

Nathan Fical, Lassellsville ; killed at Gettysburg. 

George Kring, Lassellsville; wounded at Antietam; promoted to 
sergeant, October i, 1862. 

Asa C. Lamphere, Stratford ; prisoner at Bull Run ; discharged 
Octobers, 1862. 

John Luther, Brocket's Bridge ; wounded by accident ; discharged 
August I, 1862. 

August Manga, Brocket's Bridge; discharged June 14, 1862. 

Abner Millard, Stratford ; wounded at Antietam ; died October 6, 
1862. 

Vernon B. Mosher, Oppenheim. 

Christian Rosseter, Ephratah ; killed at South Mountain. 

Daniel Strobec, Lassellsville; discharged March 14, 1863. 

Samuel Stall, Brocket's Bridge ; wounded at Antietam and dis- 
charged. 

Gilbert Satterly, Stratford; discharged January 3, 1863. 

George Sipperly, Caroga ; killed at Antietam. 

Alexander Snell, Lassellsville. 

Sylvester Stall, Lassellsville ; discharged August 25, 1862. 

Emanuel Smith, Lassellsville ; discharged September 26, 1862. 

Theodore Thompson, Stratford. 

Harvey S. Valentine, Brocket's Bridge. 

David H. Walrath, Lassellsville ; wounded at Bull Run. 

Lyman Zimmerman, Lassellsville. 

Company D. — Richard Bullock, third corporal ; A. J. Avery, W. 
Bullock, H. N. Bullock, W. Colwell, E. Edwards, H. Doxtader, E. Dun- 
ning, A. B. Farrell, W. McGowan, J. J. Newell, H. S. Perkins, all of 
Stratford. 

Company G. — Willard Avery, Stratford. 

Company I. — George Weaver, Lassellsville. 

Company K. — ^J. P. Spofford, Brocket's Bridge. 



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ONE HUNDRED FIETEENTH REGIMENT. 135 



THE ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTEENTH REGIMENT. 

The One Hundred and Fifteenth Regiment of Infantry was raised 
during the months of July and August, 1862, at a time when the gov- 
ernment was sorely in need of troops. In many respects this was one 
of the most important commands to which Fulton county contributed 
its men during the whole war, but there may not have been as many 
local volunteers in this regiment as in some others sent out from the 
district. The four counties Fulton, Hamilton, Montgomery and Sara- 
toga furnished the troops for the One Hundred and Fifteenth Regiment, 
the Fulton county men being in Companies E and K, a roll of which is 
appended to this sketch. 

The regiment was completed and organized about the middle of 
August, 1862, and mustered into service at Fonda on the 26th by Cap- 
tain Edgerton, an officer of the regular army. The field and staff offi- 
cers, chosen upon the organization of the regiment, were as follows : 
Colonel, Simeon Sammons; lieutenant-colonel, George S. Batcheller ; 
major, Patrick H. Cowan ; adjutant, Thomas R. Horton ; quartermas- 
ter, Martin McMartin ; surgeon, Richard H. Sutton ; assistant surgeon, 
William H. Ingersoll ; chaplain, Sylvester W. Clemens. 

On the 29th of August the One Hundred and Fifteenth broke camp 
at Fonda and proceeded under orders to Charlestown, Va., where its 
first service was to guard the Shenandoah Valley railroad, but it soon 
after moved to Harper's Ferry and camped at Bolivar Heights. On 
September 1 3th the troops went into theij- first fight at Maryland Heights, 
but two days later witnessed the cowardly surrender of General Miles at 
Bolivar Heights. The regiment was then ordered to Annapolis, but al- 
most immediately was sent to Chicago on guard and provost duty, where 
it remained until the 20th of November, and then returned to Washing- 
ton ; but instead of encamping for the winter at the national capital, as 
was expected, the men were kept under constant motion, and suddenly, 
in January, 1863, the command was transferred to the Department of 
the South, with headquarters at Hilton Head, S. C, at which place it 
arrived on January 26. Here the regiment was divided into detach- 
ments and kept on guard duty until the latter part of May, and then re- 
united. 



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136 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

While 1863 was uneventful so far as the One Hundred and Fifteenth 
was concerned, the succeeding year brought intense excitement for the 
regiment, which was ordered into perilous service and bore part in some 
of the most sanguinary battles of the war. Beginning with the engage- 
ment at Jacksonville, Fla., on February 7, and ending with Fort Fisher, 
on December 25, the One Hundred and Fifteenth fought in twenty-two 
battles, but no where were the losses so severe as in the fight at Olustee, 
Fla., on the 20th of February, where it lost more than one half of its 
members engaged. Even a casual glance at the roster of the Fulton 
county companies will show how terribly the regiment suffered in this 
battle. Although neither of the opposing armies could claim a victory, 
the regiment of which we write won marked distinction, and was pub- 
licly complimented by General Seymour, who named it the " Iron- 
hearted Regiment," in honor of its bravery on that trying occasion. 
After remaining some time in the south, the regiment, on April 18, 
was ordered to Gloucester Point, Va., and was there incorporated into 
the Tenth corps, under the command of General Butler. The official 
record shows what a prominent part was borne by the One Hundred 
and Fifteenth during the year it was attached to Butler's command. 
That its services must have been severe is attested by the fact that in the 
latter part of August the effective strength of the regiment was reduced 
to less than one hundred and twenty men. 

On the isth of January, 1865, the One Hundred and Fifteenth took 
part in the second engagement at Fort Fisher, N. C., followed by three 
battles in February (Fort Anderson, Sugar Loaf Battery, and Wilming- 
ton), after which its service consisted mainly of guard duty. On the 
17th of June it was mustered out, and on the i8th left Raleigh, N. C. 
for Albany, N. Y., where the men were paid off and finally discharged. 
The One Hundred and Fifteenth Regiment left Fonda in the fall of 1862 
with a full complement of ten hundred and forty officers and men • in 
June, 1865, at the final muster-out, its numerical strength was less than 
two hundred of its original numbers. 

Engagements of the One Hundred and Fifteenth : Maryland Heights, 
September 13, 1862; Bolivar Heights, Va., September 15, 1862; West 
Point, Va„ January 8, 1863; Jacksonville, Fla., February 7, 1864; 
Camp Finnegan, Fla., February 8, 1864; Baldwin, Fla., February 9, 



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ONE HUNDRED FIFTEENTH REGIMENT. 137 

1864 ; Sanderson, Fla., February 1 1, 1864; Callahan Station, Fla , Feb- 
ruary 14, 1864; Olustee, Fla., February 20, 1864; Palatka, Fla, March 
10, 1864; Bermuda Hundred, Va., May 5, 1864; Chesterfield Heights, 
Va., May 7, 1864; Old Church, Va., May 9, 1864; Weir Bottom 
Church, May 12, 1864; Drury's Bluff, May 14, 1864; Proctor's Creek 
and Port Walthall, Va., May 16, 1864; Cold Harbor, June i, 1864; 
Chickahominy, June — , 1864; Petersburg, June 23, 1864; Burnside 
Mine, July 30, 1864; Deep Bottom, August 16-18, 1864; Fort Gilner, 
September 29, 1864; Darbytown, October 27, 1864; Fort Fisher, N. 
C, December 25, 1864; Fort Fisher, N. C, January 15, 1865; Fort 
Anderson, N. C; February 19, 1865 ; Sugar Loaf Battle, February 20, 

1865 ; Wilmington, February 22, 1865. 

Company E, One Hundred and Fifteenth Regiment. 

Captain, William H. Shaw, Mayfield. 

First Lieutenant, Frank Abbott, Johnstown; resigned October 15, 
1862. 

Second Lieutenant, Aaron C. Slocum. 

First Sergeant, Jacob L. Haines, Mayfield, promoted first lieutenant 
1863. 

Second Sergeant, Charles L. Clark, Johnstown ; promoted second 
lieutenant, 1865. 

Third Sergeant, Robert Stewart, Johnstown. 

Fourth Sergeant, Henry Wright, Johnstown. 

Fifth Sergeant, Melville B. Foote, Northampton. 

First Corporal, Mathew Van Steinburgh, Johnstown ; killed at Olus- 
tee, Fla, February 20, 1864. 

Second Corporal, Henry C. Christie, Mayfield ; died at Hilton Head. 

Third Corporal, George Van Rensselaer, Bleecker. 

Fourth Corporal, Isaac Coloney, Oppenheim. 

Fifth Corporal, Webster Shafer, Ephratah ; wounded at Olustee. 

Sixth Corporal, James H. Taylor, Johnstown ; wounded at Olustee. 

Seventh Corporal, Peter J. Keck, Oppenheim. 

Eighth Corporal, Frederick Meyer, Ephratah. 

Musicians, James A. Benson, Northampton; John H. Hale, May- 
field. 

18 



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138 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

Privates from Johnstown, Alfred Allen, James H. Austin, Peter 
Burns, Henry Barclay, Franklin H. Barker, wounded at Olustee ; Orin 
Cross, Herman Cool, died at Fort Moore January 3, 1865 ; Dan B. 
Doxtader, died at Beaufort, S. C, March 14, 1864, of wounds; Nelson 
Fairchilds, George C. Graves, William R. Holliday, James F. Hallet, 
Albert Hilabrandt, John Hall, John Hilton, Aaron Johnson, Joshua 
Lake, Hugh McLaughlin, Archibald McLaughlin, wounded at Cold 
Harbor, Chester Heights and Olustee ; David L. Mann, Philip Plank, 
Steward Putnam, wounded at Olustee ; Abram Rathmire, killed at 
Olustee, February 20, 1864; John Scott, died in Virginia; Matthew 
H. Snyder, James C. Tompkins, died at Chicago, November 4, 1864; 
James Van Auken, died at Yorktown, Virginia, June 30, 1863 ; Reuben 
S. Wright, died at Hilton Head. 

From Ephratah, Henry I Bellington, Joshua Getman, James H. Get- 
man, James R. Jacoby, Sanders Johnson, wounded at Deep Bottom, 
died August 26, 1864; William H. Loucks, Eli D. M. Lee, Jeremiah 
Stenburgh, died at Fortress Monroe, August 26, 1864; Joseph Wood, 
died at Hilton Head, August 7, 1863 ; Moses Loucks. 

From Oppenheim, George W. Buel, wounded and taken prisoner at 
Olustee, died in prison, August 15, 1864; James Bolster, died at Beau- 
fort, July 26, 1863; H. J. Cool, died at Fortress Monroe; Samuel 
Clemens, died of wounds, May 14, 1864; August C. Caufield, wounded 
at Olustee ; William Montayne, died in Virginia ; Levi Philip, wounded 
at Olustee ; John A. Smith, John N. Ward. 

From Mayfield, John L. Bratt, Darius Baker, Charles J. Bishop, The- 
ron Bowman, died at Beaufort of fever, June 26, 1863 ; Benjamin A. 
Baker, died at Washington, D. C, of small-pox, January 11, 1863; 
Benjamin Ferguson, Cornelius V. Hall, wounded at Olustee ; Stephen 
A. Johnson, died of wounds. May i, 1864; Stephen Kirkland, Cornell 
McAllister, Thomas D. Perry, Sanford W. Shaw, wounded at Olustee, 
died November 10, 1864. 

From Northampton, James B. Brooks, died of injuries, January 7, 
1865 ; Edmund Burhess, Eli Brooks, James H. Eldred, Albon Hanner, 
George B. Harrison, John F. James, George H. Luck, James H. Piatt, 
died at Beaufort, July 27, 1863 ; Charles Rhodes, died at Petersburg, 
June 26, 1864; John A. Rhodes, Hiram Riiodes, William H. Siiit% 
Smith Travis. 



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ONE HUNDRED FIFTEENTH REGIMENT. 



'39 



From Stratford, Philander Doxtader, Charles R. Dibble, wounded at 
Olustee ; David H. Dalrymple, wounded at Olustee ; Charles Dyer, 
wounded at Olustee; Simon P. Little, Stephen Mowers, William H. 
Scorsby. 

Miscellaneous, Joseph Bowman, James Burns, wounded at Olustee ; 
Thomas Craig, wounded at Olustee ; Thomas Dooley, died at Ander- 
sonville ; P. Herman, wounded at Olustee ; S. D. Mosher, died at Beau- 
fort, N. C; Frederick Multer, wounded at Olustee ; Charles Rood, died 
at Petersburg, Va.; Peter P. Shuler, died at Philadelphia of fever, Feb- 
ruary 7, 1863 ; Andrew Sykes, died in North Carolina; J. Stearnocks 
died at Fortress Monroe ; James Welch, died at Olustee, Fla. 

Roster of Company K, One Hundred and Fifteenth Regiment. 

Captain, William Smith, Amsterdam, wounded at Maryland Heights. 

First lieutenant, Ralph Sexton, Caroga ; discharged May 25, 1863. 

First sergeant, Henry P. McMaster, Caroga. 

Second sergeant, James M. Hill, Broadalbin; promoted second lieu- 
tenant ; to first lieutenant in 1863 ; transferred to Forty- seventh, N. Y. 

Third sergeant, James O. Fox, Broadalbin ; died at Petersburg, Va. 

Fourth sergeant, Archibald Buchanan, Broadalbin. 

Fifth sergeant, Caleb Olmstead, Broadalbin. 

First corporal, James A. Swan, Caroga. 

Second corporal, Lorenzo E. Bradt, Caroga. 

Fourth corporal, John Park, Broadalbin ; died at Beaufort, S. C. 

Sixth corporal, Samuel Burr, Broadalbin ; promoted sergeant. 

Seventh corporal, Eli Smith, Caroga. 

Eighth corporal, Henry Luly, Broadalbin. 

Musicians, Samuel Hurd, Caroga ; Joshua W. Ripley and Melville 
W. Cole, Broadalbin. 

Wagoner, James Carmichael, Johnstown. 

Privates from Broadalbin, David Anderson, Marcus Banta, burned to 
death at Amsterdam, August 29, 1862; John R. Clark, died in Peters- 
burg, Va.; Joseph Carpenter, Peter Dingman, Edgar D. Demarest, 
promoted sergeant, 1865 ; William H. Dingman, Peter Fry, William 
M. Fox, discharged for disability ; Daniel Fosmire, William A. Honey- 
well, A. P. Hart, G. G. Honeywell, wounded at Drury's Bluff and Win- 



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14 o HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

Chester; Benjamin Hammond, promoted corporal, 1863 ; Thomas Kel- 
ley, Henry Luloy, died at Hilton Head; Norman W. Liford, wounded 
at Chesterfield Heights, died May 7, 1864; Charles M. Marcellus, pro- 
moted sergeant; Isaac Manchester, wounded at Chesterfield; Alexan- 
der Monroe, died at Hilton Head, October 10, 1863 ; Levi Pettit, killed 
at Olustee, February 20, 1864 ; William H. Peck, wounded at Olustee ; 
William A. Peck, Elizur A. Rose, William D. Wright, William Row- 
ley, discharged for disability, 1864; Henry Seeley, died June 19, 1863 ; 
Obediah H. Sprung, died of wounds in rebel hospital, May 1 1, 1865 ; 
Albert Solomon, Richard A. Thorp, wounded at Olustee ; Stephen S. 
Treper, wounded at Olustee ; Aaron Ward. 

From Johnstown, George H. Ackley, Charles H. Bradt, promoted 
sergeant, killed at Olustee, February 20, 1864; Francis Cole, died at 
Chicago, October 31, 1862; Groat Honeywell, Charles W. Johnson, 
wounded at Olustee ; Andrew J. Van Skiver, James Young. 

From Caroga, Peter Bradt, died after discharged ; John Cole, 
wounded at Olustee ; Michael A. Dorn, wounded at Olustee; Philip 
Erkenbrack, wounded at Olustee ; Ebenezer Failing, Martin Frederick, 
David Failing, wounded at Olustee ; James R. Gaige, Peter Hanahan, 
William Hillie, died June, 1865; Frank Limer, Charles Lamb, died of 
wounds, January 16, 1865; Abram Massey, Charles Moak, died of 
measles, January 2, 1863; Cyrus Near, William Pedrick, wounded at 
Olustee ; Warren J. Sexton, Adam Stearns, Joseph Van Derpool, 
wounded at Olustee, died in rebel prison, March 10, 1864; George W. 
Wait, James H. Williams, wounded at Olustee. 

From Oppenheim, Norman M. Cool. 

From Mayfield, John H. Day. 

From Palatine, Abram Backmore, died at Fort Monroe ; Edward 
Bratt, James De Graff, Nathan Layton, Abram Rockmeyer. 

From Mohawk, Milligham Bump, William L. Frederick, George S. 
Jones. 

From Amsterdam, John Demore, William S. Young, Joseph Younger. 

From Glen, Francis Kirsch, Michael Miller. 

From Ephratah, Melvin Miller, died at Johnstown, March 5, 1865 ; 
Barney Naughton. 



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ONE HUNDRED FIFTY-THIRD REGIMENT. 141 

Miscellaneous. J. M. Amstead, died at Deep Bottom, Va. ; A. Har- 
dcll, died at Raleigh, N. C. ; James Hunter, wounded at Olustee ; 
Charles W. Johnson, wounded at Olustee ; Joseph Wistar, died at Staten 
Island. 

THE ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY-THIRD REGIMENT. 

The One Hundred and Fifty-third regiment was raised in the north- 
ern counties of the state, seven of its companies being from Fulton and 
Montgomery counties, and three from Essex, Warren and Clinton. The 
Fulton county men were chiefly in companies A and D, while companies 
F and K were represented by local volunteers. The companies first 
mentioned were enlisted at Johnstown, and the others derived their 
membership from the same place and also from other towns of the 
county. The greater part, indeed, of F and K companies was from 
Fulton county. 

The regiment was mustered into service at Fonda, October 14, 1862. 
Immediately after its organization it was ordered to Alexandria, and 
subsequently served at Washington during that year and also the fol- 
lowing year in provost duty. In February, 1864, it was transferred to 
Louisiana and attached to the Nineteenth army corps, being assigned 
to the first brigade, first division, commanded by General Franklin. 
The corps sailed from New Orleans on the 3d of July, under sealed or- 
ders ; but its destination proved to be the Chesapeake. The One Hun- 
dred and Fifty-third, together with four companies belonging to other 
regiments, being the advance of the corps, were on their arrival at Fort- 
ress Monroe instantly ordered, without disembarking, to the defense of 
Washington, then menaced by General Early's invasion. The troops 
were hurried through the city, amid deep public excitement and gen- 
eral alarm, to a position at Fort Stevens where they went into imme- 
diate action. After the repulse of the enemy, the One Hundred and 
Fifty-third joined in the pursuit across the Potomac, penetrating into 
the Shenandoah Valley, but was suddenly recalled to the vicinity of the 
capital to oppose another threatened advance of the enemy. 

The One Hundred and Fifty- third soon afterward engaged in the 
battle of Winchester, in which the Fulton county companies again did 



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142 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

good service. It also participated in the engagement at Fisher's Hill, 
and in the pursuit of the defeated confederates. The Nineteenth corps, 
to which the One Hundred and Fifty-third still belonged, was also en- 
gaged in the battle of Cedar Creek, and suffered heavy losses incident 
to the surprise and early catastrophes of that bloody field. 

The regiment also formed a part of the picket line which surrounded 
Washington after the assassination of President Lincoln, and performed 
guard duty at the military court which tried the assassins. In June, 
1865, the regiment was ordered to Savannah, where it did provost duty 
until its discharge from service, October 2, 1865. 

Field and Staff Officers. 

Colonel, Duncan McMartin ; resigned April 25, 1863. 

Colonel, Edwin P. Davis ; mustered out with regiment, October 2, 
1865. 

Lieutenant-colonel, Thos. A. Armstrong ; resigned February 18, 1863, 

Lieutenant-colonel, W. H. Printup ; resigned November 17, 1863. 

Lieutenant- colonel, Alexander Strain ; discharged January 4, 1865, 

Major, E. P. Davis; promoted lieutenant-colonel, December i, 1863. 

Major, Stephen Sammons; resigned August 27, 1864. 

Major, George H. McLaughlin ; promoted lieutenant-colonel, Janu- 
ary 26, 1865. 

Major, C. F. Putnam ; died at Savannah, Ga., September 9, 1865. 

Adjutant, Stephen Sammons; promoted major December 2, 1863. 

Adjutant, Abram V. Davis; mustered out with regiment, October 
2, 1865. 

Quartermaster, D. C. Livingston; resigned August 22, 1863. 

Quartermaster, John B. Blanchard ; mustered out with the regiment. 

Surgeon, H. S. Hendee ; resigned February 18, 1864. 

Assistant-surgeon, J. L. Alexander; resigned August 19, 1863. 

Assistant- surgeon, S. L. Snow; promoted surgeon April 14, 1864. 

Assistant- surgeon, J. Sweeney; mustered out with the regiment. 

Chaplain, J. Henry Enders ; mustered out with regiment. 

Comyany A — Enrolled at Johnstown. 

Captain, David Spaulding. 
First lieutenant, James Barr. 
Second lieutenant, John D. Brownell. 



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ONE HUNDRED FIFTY- THIRD REGIMENT. 143 

Sergeants. — First sergeant, James A. Veeder ; second sergeant, Jame 
Lasher; third sergeant, Alfred Earl ; fourth sergeant, Lee M. Wooster; 
fifth sergeant, William C. Peake. 

Corporals. — James C. Kelley, George C. Potter, William J. Griffis, 
Robert B. Hyman, James R. Wright, Weston W. Peake, Charles M. 
Ballantine, Frederick A. Harman. 

Musicians. — Rufus B. Mcintosh, Jacob Wilde. 

Teamster. — David P. Mills. 

Privates. — Frederick Ackernecht, John Ancock, John Busick, Abijah 
Bruce, John C. Billingham, Edwin A. Bissell, Oliver Birdsall, William 
E. Christie, John Cosselman, Timothy Cosselman, William Cosselman, 
Leslie Kinsman, Archibald Kelley, Cassius M. C. Lloyd, John E. Lough- 
ewry, Eleazer Morgan, Stephen Millgate, George R. Miller, William 
H. Pulser, Charles H. Powell, Harman H. Putman, John S. Paddock, 
Benjamin Cossleman, Stephen Cadman, Patrick Dorn, Aaron P. Day, 
John K. Dye, George Duell, Elihu F. Enos, George D. Fuller, John E. 
Ferguson, Lawrence P. Frederick, Wilbur Farthing, Josiah Farthing, 
Dudley S. Gorton, William Goodenough, William Gulic, Childs Graff, 
William Green, David Haggart, Mathias Hurtz, Joseph Haynor, Daniel 
A. Hand, William G. Hulett, William A. House, David Hatmaker, John 
Johnson, Elisha Judson, jr., Hugo Knoff, Horace B. Potter, George 
Reymor, Victor Rufin, James F. Redshaw, George E. Radford, James 
Radford, Joseph Reynolds, Philip Snyder, Eliphas Stearns, John Stoner, 
John Tuttle, Solomon Tuttle, Charles Tiedman, James Van Vliet, Con- 
rad Van Sickler, John Van Sickler, Andrew J. Van Atter, Henry Van 
Wormer, Abram Van Nostrand, Joshua Van Atter, Daniel Van Done, 
Henry C. Welmuth, Alexander Wenchal, David Wiggins, Joseph Wells, 
John H. Welden. 

Company D. 

Captain, D. H. Cuyler, resigned from ill health 1863; first lieuten- 
ant, J. J. Buchanan, promoted captain September 14, 1863. 

First lieutenant, B. H. Burns ; enlisted as sergeant ; promoted first 
lieutenant October 27, 1863. 

Second lieutenant, Abram V. Davis. 

Sergeants. — First sergeant, William S. Norton ; second sergeant, 
Barney H. Burns ; promoted first heutenant, Co. I.; fifth sergeant .Sam- 
uel J. Bell ; died in New Orleans. 



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144 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

Corporals. — William G. Butler, Mayfield, died in Washington ; John 
Fulton, Johnstown; Richard Burns, Johnstown; Charles Bell, Johns- 
town; John G. Richardson, Johnstown ; Daniel Gustin, Johnstown, died 
in Virginia; Charles H. Peake, Johnstown ; Thaddeus M. Scouten, died 
in Virginia ; Thomas Farrell, wounded and discharged ; Yost Grebe, 
wounded and discharged. 

Musicians. — ^James German, Johnstown, died in Virginia ; Abram 
Wilsey, Perth. 

Wagoner, Daniel McCall, Johnstown. 

Privates — From Johnstown: John F. Arms, Lucius C. Allen, wounded 
and discharged; Willard Allen, died in Virginia; Joseph H. Allen, 
promoted fourth sergeant ; Nelson Argersinger, wounded and dis- 
charged ; John H. Argersinger, James F. Arms, John Bedingham, 
James H. Carlisle, died in New Orleans; Henry M. J. Coe, died in Lou- 
isiana; Lucius Daniels, Abram Davis, transierred to Co. B, died ; John H. 
Dewey, promoted first sergeant ; John K. Elliot, wounded at Cedar 
Creek, Va.; Thomas Earl, John Frank, promoted corporal, wounded and 
discharged ; John Friedel, died in Maryland ; James M. Gilchrist, pro- 
moted third corporal ; John Gluehner, Yost Greber, William Hale, 
promoted fifth sergeant ; Michael Hart, John C. Hastings, Henry B. 
Hewey, promoted sixth corporal ; Peter Hio, John Hio, Luther Holman, 
died in Va.; David Hallenbeck, Marcus King, Gotlibb Kebow, died in 
New Orleans ; William Kirk, John Lippert, Frederick Lippert, died in 
Virginia ; Richard Lary, Alexander Martin, died in Virginia ; Gaudus 
Lipper, died in Virginia ; Harvey Martin, Philip McGraw, James H. 
McCall, promoted corporal ; John M. Miller died in Washington ; 
William McMiller, Mathias Molty, Charles H. Moore, promoted first 
corporal; John Myers, John Murphy, promoted fourth corporal ; Hi- 
ram Nash, James H. Nickloy, William Nickloy, wounded and dis- 
charged ; Peter Noonan, William S. Norton, promoted second lieu- 
tenant, Co. I.; Lott Osborne, promoted third sergeant; Henry Paris, 
promoted fifth corporal ; Oliver H. Perry, transferred to Reserve 
Corps; Samuel Perry, Joseph H. Pierson, Nathan Reed, promoted 
second corporal ; Edmund Ricketts, Mathew Richardson, died in New 
Orleans ; John H. Riley, John G. Richardson, transferred to Reserve 
Corps ; Peter Reinhart, Nicholas Reinhart, David Robertson, died 



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ONE HUNDRED EIFTY-THIRD REGIMENT. 145 

in Pennsylvania ; Henry Roil, John E. Stearns, died in Virginia ; Ed- 
ward A. Slocum, promoted second sergeant ; William StoUer, Nich- 
olas Shoupe died in New Orleans ; Richard C. Suits, Robert Turner, 
died in Pennsylvania ; Peter Van Buren died in Virginia ; William Van 
Dusen, Job Warren, Marcus H. Wiley, Abram Williams. 

Miscellaneous Members, William H. Adams, Mayfield, died at Wash- 
ington; Hiram Buchanan, Florida; W. C. Baker, Mohawk, missing; 
John Fulton, promoted quartermaster ; Giles Frederick, Root ; Wil- 
liam M. Hanis, promoted seventh corporal ; Alfred Smith, Perth. 

Company F. 

Captain, Isaac S. Van Woerts, Fonda. 

First lieutenant, Frank W. C. Fox, Fonda. 

Second lieutenant, John H. Lassel, Fonda. 

Sergeants, John P. Jennings, George Mathewson, Harmon Rulifson, 
Ephratah ; John G. Porter, Nathan McFee, Canajoharie. 

Corporals, William Benchley, Ephratah ; Robert R. Abling, Joseph 
Stone, Canajoharie ; James Donley, Sephus La Dew, Sylvanus Stowell, 
Henry Eberhardt, Oppenheim ; James Ettig, Lassellsville. 

Musicians, Andrew F Johnson, Mohawk ; William H. Roberts, Cana- 
j oharie. 

Teamster, John Strough, jr., Oppenheim. 

Privates, William R. Briggs, Harvey Brownell, Anthony Connolly, 
Benedict Deatsh, James K. Fiscal, Horatio Gilbert, hospital steward, 
Levi Gray, Oscar Getman, John N. Hanes, Oliver La Dew, John Mar- 
cellus, Solomon Mosher, William Nudick, Levi Steanburgh, Stephen 
Schram, Henry Wanger, from Ephratah ; Martin Brown, John Brown, 
Jerome Claus, John Clemens, John Denure, Helam Denure, Felix Don- 
nelly, Henry Doxtader, John W. Guile, Samuel E. Hoxie, Daniel Hase, 
Albert La Dew, William W. Mosher, William Mosher, Daniel Merrit, 
Philo Monk, Charles F. Stell, Lorenzo D. Snell, William Shearer, John 
Ward, jr., Daniel Weare, from Oppenheim; Andrew F. Hart, Daniel 
Mersey, George Mosher, from Lassellsville. 

Company K. 

Privates, Oscar Martin, James Mcintosh, Charles P. Mcintosh, Wil- 
liam H. Miller, John Northrop, James Obrayn, Monroe Place, Dyer 

19 



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,46 HIi>TOKy OF FULTON COUNTY. 

Peck, Taylor Peck, Yale A. Pool, Charles Phelps, Charles E. Place, 
Francis Reid, Edward Sutliff, Oliver Sutliff, Richard H. Shaffer, Erastus 
Sharp, Elias G. Smith, George A. Scott, of Gloversville ; Joseph W. 
Kested, John T. Sawyer, of Mills Corners ; Jacob Pung, Lorenzo Phillips, 
of Bleecker ; David Mosher, of Middle Grove. 

THE TENTH CAVALRY — VETERAN. 

On the 3d of August, 1861, the war department granted full authority 
to Col. John C. Lemon to recruit a cavalry regiment in the state of 
New York, to be an organization of the United States, but in Septem- 
ber the command (so far as then progressed), was turned over to the 
state authorities, by whom the regiment was completed. The organiza- 
tion was finished at Elmira, a number of the recruits coming from Mor- 
gan's cavalry which had been disbanded in order that they might be- 
come members of the Tenth. The regiment received its numerical des- 
ignation December 12, 1861, and was mustered for three years' service. 
Companies 1, K and L joined the Tenth on December 5, 1862, and 
Company M in February, 1 863, which completed the regimental strength. 
Company I of the Tenth was recruited by its captain (David Getman, 
jr.), the towns of Johnstown, Mayfield, Perth and Northampton contrib- 
uting to its membership. The command left the state December 24, 
1861, the later formed companies joining the regiment at the front. It 
was stationed at or near Gettysburg, Pa., until March, 1862, and then 
attached to the middle department. Eighth army corps, guarding rail- 
roads. From August until October, 1862, the regiment was in the de- 
fense of Washington, and then served with Gregg's cavalry brigade, 
Army of the Potomac, as all mounted men ; in the First brigade. Third 
division, Cavalry corps. Army of the Potomac, from February, 1863 ; 
in the Third brigade. Second division, Cavalry corps, A. of P., from June 
14, 1863, serving however, from June 22 to 27 with the Twelfth corps. 
It was a part of the Second brigade, Second division from August, 1863 ; 
and from May 7, 1864, was in the F"irst brigade. Second division of the 
Cavalry corps. On the loth of July, 1865, the Tenth, then commanded 
by Colonel Matthew H. Avery, was consolidated, company with com- 
pany, correspondingly, with the Twenty-fourth New York volunteer 



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TENTH CAVALRY. ,47 

cavalry, and the new formation was designated " First Provisional Regi- 
ment New York Volunteer Cavalry." 

The Tenth, throughout the whole period of its service, was numbered 
among the hardest fighting regiments in the Union army ; its record 
indeed includes active participation in more than one hundred engage- 
ments. This service however, will be best understood if the reader will 
contemplate the following list of its battles : 

(1862) Chesapeake Bay, near Black River, Md., April 4 ; near Sulphur 
Springs, August 27 ; near Frying Pan, August 30 ; Germanton, August 
31; near Antrioille, September 3 ; Leesburg, September 17; Rappa- 
hannock Station, November i; United States Ford, November 16; 
Fredericksburg, December 11; (1863) Rappahannock Station, April 
14; Kelly's Ford, April 30 ; Louisa Court-house, May 2; South Anna 
Branch, May 3 ; Ashland Church, May 4; Thompson's Cross-roads, 
May 5 ; Brandy Station, June 9; Aldie, June 17; Middleburg, June 
18, 19, 20; Upperville, June2i ; Aldie, June 22; Gettysburg, July 2- 
3; Boonsboro, July 11-12; near Harper's Ferry, July 14; Halltown, 
July IS; Shepardstown, July 15-16; Annissville, August i; Little 
Washington, August 4 ; Sulphur Springs, October 12; Auburn and 
Bristoe, October, 14; Catletts Station, October 15-16; Rappahannock 
Station, October 24; Philomont, November i ; Mine g.un Camp, No- 
vember 26 and December 2 ; New Hope Church, November 27 ; 
Parker's Store, November, 29; Ely's Ford, December i. (1864) 
Morrisville, April 17; Ely's Ford, May 4 ; Wilderness, May 5-7; 
Spotsylvania Court-house, May 8 ; Sheridan's raid to James river. May 
9-24; Ground Squirrel Ridge, May 10; Glen Allen, May 11 ; Fortifi- 
cations of Richmond, May 12 ; White Oak Swamp, May 13 ; Haxall's 
Landing, May 18; White House Landing, May 19; Tolopotomoy, 
May 27-30 ; Hanoverton, May 27 ; Haw's Shop, May 28 ; Cold Har- 
bor, May 31, June i and 6; Suener's Upper Bridge, June 2 ; Bottom's 
Bridge, June 3 ; Sherdian's Trevilian raid, June 7-24 ; Trevilian Station, 
June 11-12; Kings and Queens Court-house, June 18-20; White 
House Landing, June 21 ; St. Mary's Church, June 24 ; before Peters- 
burg, June 26 and April 2, '65 ; Ream's Station, June 30; Light House 
Point, July i ; Gaines' Hill, July 2 ; Prince George Court-house, July 
10; Lee's Station, July 12 ; Prince George Court-house, July 16 ; Deep 



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148 HISTORY OF FUL70N COUNTY. 

Bottom, July 27-29; Lee's Mills, July 30; Strawberry Plains, August 
14 and 18; Weldon Railroad, August 18-21 ; Ream's Station, August 
23-25; Arthur's Swamp, August 28-30; Yellow Tavern, September 
2 ; Stony Creek Station, September 6 and 16 ; Balclier's Mills, Septem- 
ber 17; Poplar Spring Church, September 30 and October 2; Mt. 
Termain Church, October 17; Boydon Plank Road, October 27-28; 
near Prince George Court-house, November 2 ; Stony Creek, Novem- 
ber 7; Blackwater Creek, November 18; Stony Creek, December i ; 
Hicksford raid, December 6-1 1 ; Three Creeks, December 9 ; Jarrett's 
Station, December 10 ; Halifax Road, December 10. 1865, Rowanty 
Creek, February 5 and 8 ; Appomattox Campaign, March 29-April 9 ; 
Dinwiddie Court-house, March 30-31 ; Five Forks, April i ; Fall of 
Petersburg, April 2 ; Paynis Cross Roads, April 4-5 ; Amelia Springs, 
April 5 ; Sailors Creek, April 6 ; Deatonsville Road, April 6 ; Farm- 
ville, April 7 ; Pamplin Station, April 8 ; Appomattox Court-house, 
April 9. 

A more remarkable military record is not to be found in American 
history. 

Muster Roll, Company I, Tenth Cavalry. 

Captain, David Getman, jr. Mayfield. 

First lieutenant, Stephen Dennie. 

Second lieutenant, Charles H. Hill. 

First sergeant, H. H. Boyd, Broadalbin ; killed. 

Quartermaster sergeant, Asa Capron," Broadalbin. 

Sergeants, John W. Abernathy, Mayfield ; killed. Nichilas D. Care, 
Mayfield; died in hospital December 16, 1863. David N. Haines, 
Mayfield; transferred to navy April 10, 1864. Darwin W. Close, 
Mayfield. Jacob C. Care, Mayfield; discharged May 12, 1864. 

Corporals, Chester L. Berry, Mayfield. Henry Betts, Broadalbin. 
Augustus M. Brown, Mayfield. Hosea Davis, jr., Broadalbin; trans- 
ferred to Vet. Res. Corps May 2, 1864. Darius S. Orton, Broadalbin. 
A. H. Van Dyke, Mayfield ; discharged April 5, 1863. Peter Phillips, 
Broadalbin ; killed. Harvey Decker, Mayfield ; discharged February 
24, 1863. Henry Piper, Mayfield. Daniel Satterlee, Broadalbin. 



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TENTH CAVALRY. 149 

Farriers, Charles Thayer, Broadalbin ; discharged November 8, 1862. 
Henry A. Lane, Broadalbin. 

Saddler, George Riddle, Northampton. 

Wagoner, James L. Mercer, Broadalbin. 

Privates, Charles S. Bartlett, killed while on a scout, November 18, 
1864. Philip Canning, killed by guerillas near Benton Station, May 
22, 1863. Thomas Canning, discharged January 9, 1864. George W. 
Close, Asa Dye, discharged October 28, 1863. James Earle died of 
typhoid fever September 20, 1863. Daniel C. Forbes, killed ; Francis 
Forbes, killed ; Miner Fox, HoUis Fox, Joseph Honeywell, William 
Foster, killed ; John Hammond, William H. Jones, died in Andersonville 
Prison, August 14, 1864; Thomas Lee, Lorenzo Philips, died at Aquia 
Creek, February 6, 1863. George Peck, discharged ; Rawson Stoddard, 
discharged January 8, 1864. James H. Sanford, promoted captain 
January, 1864. George E. Sanford, died of disease May 28, 1865 ; 
George W. Schermerhorn, died November 6, 1863. Abram Satterlee, 
George H. Smith, discharged. Zadock Satterlee, Thomas B. Tatlock, 
William Wands, from Broadalbin. Elias Blowers, William Brower, 
Abram H. Blowers, killed. William H. Blowers, James H. Brown, dis- 
charged. Nathaniel W. Brown, Christopher Brower, John W. Clute, killed 
George Davis, killed. Julius B. Day, R. Norman Fox, Seneca Fox, 
transferred to Vet. Res. Corps, October 31, 1863. Alva Freeman, died 
March 14, 1863, George D. Ferguson, died July 2, 1863. William A. 
Goodemote, John Hall, discharged November 17, 1863; John Handy, 
discharged June 11, 1863; James Hall, discharged May 8, 1864; Al- 
bert Hall, James A. Laird, discharged at Albany, N. Y. Barney Mc- 
Cabe, died in hospital at Phila., July 14. John Marlet, John McCormick, 
Hiram McCleary, William O'Bryan, discharged November 17, 1862. 
Edward Patterson, killed inaction June 9, 1863. Marcus Richardson, 
John Reynolds, Jesse Reynolds, William P. Rhodes, discharged May 
29, 1865. Daniel Richardson, John H.Richardson, killed. Joseph A. 
J. F. Sanborn, George Stewart, John Shaw, Daniel W. Schemerhorn, 
Andrew J. Terrell, died December 15, 1863 ; James H. Waite, Martilon 
Warner, James W. Wells, died. Francis R. Whitney, discharged De- 
cember 31, 1863, from Mayfield; WilHam H. Briggs, of Johnstown. 
Jacob Lepper, of Perth. Ephraim D. Mosher, discharged March 4, 



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ISO HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

1863; Alexander Wescott, of Northampton. John T. Bohanna, Thomas 
T. Crouch, died February i, 1863; William D. Hagar, Peter R. Mur- 
dock, of Fonda ; John Blowers, killed. 

THE SECOND REGIMENT, CAVALRY. 

On the 25th of July, 1861, the War Department authorized Col. J. 
Mansfield Davis to recruit a cavalry regiment in the state of New 
York ; aud the result was the organization of the " Harris Light Cav- 
alry," which was mustered into service between August 9 and October 
8, 1 86 1, and designated the " Seventh Regiment of Cavalry in the ser- 
vice of the United States." The regiment, however, was turned over 
to the state in which it was recruited, and thereafter called the " Seventh 
Regiment of New York Volunteer Cavalry." More popularly this com- 
mand became known as the " Harris Light Cavalry." 

In such reports as arc published of the state's soldiery, there appears 
to be no credit to Fulton county in furnishing men for this regiment, 
but it is well understood that a part of Company F, one man of Com- 
pany C, Fourth Corporal C. L. Clark, and one, William Harris, of 
Company H, were recruited by Capt. W. H. Shaw, of Mayfield. The 
number of Fulton county men in this regiment was less than thirty, 
and though their service is worthy of honorable mention, we have 
hardly a sufficient detail, and regret the loss of material for this pur- 
pose. The regiment was mustered out of service at Alexandria, Va., 
June 23, 1865. 

Muster Roll, Company F. 

Captain, William H. Shaw, Mayfield. 

First lieutenant, David Getman, Mayfield. 

Sergeants, J. L. Haines, J. W. Abernethy, N. D. Case, Mayfield. 

Corporals, G. M. Van Ransellaer, Gloversville ; J. W. Case, D. N. 
Haines, L. Fay, Mayfield. 

Bugler, A. J. Lansing, Mayfield. 

Wagoner, R. Johnson, Mayfield. 

Privates, A. O. Brown, C. L. Berry, W. R. Berry, A. Brower, W. 
Bronson, A. M. Brown, J. Bixby, A. Eddy, C. V. Hall, D. Howland, 



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THIRTEENTH HEAVY ARTILLERY. 



»5i 



W. H. Fring, J. Wells, E. G. Waite, M ay field ; M. Bowers, J. Jintzy, 
Gloversville; A. Brower, A. Culbert, M. Fox, Broadalbin. 
Company H, William Harris, Johnstown. 

THIRD CAVALRY. 

Company D, J. H. Harris, George W. Peck, Johnstown. 

THIRTEENTH REGIMENT, HEAVY ARTILLERY. 

To this regiment the towns of Ephratah, Johnstown, Oppenheim, 
Broadalbin, Mayfield and Perth contributed volunteers. The men were 
assigned to Companies E, F and G, the greatest number being in the 
company first named. The county's contribution amounted in all to 
about fifty men. 

Col. William A. Howard was authorized by the War Department, 
May II, 1863, to organize this regiment in New York city. The men 
then already recruited by Maj. H. B. Williams for the Eleventh New 
York volunteer artillery, and not assigned to companies, were trans- 
ferred to this command ; and on October 14, the men enlisted for the 
proposed Twenty ninth New York veteran volunteer infantry, and for 
the Thirty-sixth independent battery of New York artlillery were also 
assigned to this regiment. The new men were mustered into service 
for three years, but the regiment contained some one- year enlistments. 
The command in fact included men from all parts of the state. The 
regiment was mustered in by companies during the latter part of 1863 
and the early part of 1864; and its service in the field was of such a 
detatched and separate character that no regular narrative of its history 
can be given, other than may be disclosed by its list of engagements. 
When the short term men were mustered out the remainder were con- 
solidated, so that some of the companies lost their former identity. 

The battles of the Thirteenth were as follows : Operations against 
Petersburg and Richmond, May 5 and 31, 1864; before Petersburg, 
June 15, 1864 and April 2, 1865 ; assault on Petersburg, June 15 and 
17, 1864; Swift Creek, October 7, 1864; Day's Point, Va., November 



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152 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

14 and 19, 1864; Fort Fisher, N. C, December 25, 1864, and January 
IS, 1865 ; fall of Petersburg, April 2, 1865. 

Muster Roll, Thirteenth Regiment. 
Company E. 

From Ephratah C. Cook, second lieutenant ; S. H. Andriance, W. H. 
Brate, D. W. Brate, J. S. Brate, L. Clement, P. H. Cool, J. F. Cooley. 
J. Dempsey, J. J. Fraley, G. W. Hardy, J. H. Kinnicutt, W. H. Palm- 
ateer, J. Rivenburg, D. Smith, G. H. Smith, J. Smith, L. Sponable, C. 
Whitlock, D. Whitlock, P. S. Whitlock, M. Palmater. 

From Johnstown. — W. Avery, L. Copely, E. Ditrick, T. Doras, 
Charles Fields, D. Rooney, C. Rooney, W. Sullivan, J. Swartz, P. 
Tierney, L. T. Weaver, L. Weaver. 

From Oppenheim. — J. A. Brown, A. Cook, T. S. Finch, H. C. Jud- 
son, N. Ladue, N. H. Murray, J. D. Maxaw, C. D. Righter. 

From Perth.— S. H. PuUen. 

Company F. 

From Broadalbin. — Nicholas Barrett, A. Bates, M. Cornell, John 
Dingman, D. B. Hall, Henry Hall, M. H. Phelps. 
From Johnstown. — J. H. Houghtailing, B. H. Hulin. 

Company G. 

From Johnstown. — George Harvey, W. H. Lawrence, E. Underwood, 
David Yost. 

From Mayfield. — N. J. Schemerhorn. 

FOURTEENTH REGIMENT, HEAVY ARTILLERY. 

The Fulton county men in this regiment numbered but ten in the 
aggregate, and all were in Battery M. The regiment was organized in 
1863, under authority granted to Colonel Elisha G. Marshall. It was 
made up of recruits from all parts of the state, and the regimental organ- 
ization was perfected at Rochester. The men were mustered in for 
three years. 



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FOURTEENTH HEAVY ARTILLERY. 153 

The Fourteenth served as heavy artillery and infantry in the Depart- 
ment of the East until April, 1864, when it was attached to the Provis- 
ional brig.ide of the Ninth corps. On May 12th it was in the First 
division, Third brigade, same corps, Army of the Potomac. June i8th, 
1864, it was transferred to the Second brigade; September, 1864, to 
the Third brigade, and in June, 1865, formed a part of the First brigade, 
Hardin's division, Twenty-second corps. 

List of Battles. — Wilderness, May 5-7, 1864; Spotsylvania Court- 
House, May 8 and 21, 1864; Ny River, May 10, 1864; North Anna, 
May 22 and 26, 1864; Totopotomy, May 27 and 31, 1864; Cold Har- 
bor, June I and 12, 1864; Beulah Church, June 2, 1864; before Peters- 
burg, June 16, 1864, and April 2,1865; assault* on Petersburg, June 
16-19, 1864; Mine Explosion, July 30, 1864; Weldon R. R., August 
18-21, 1864; Poplar Grove Church, September 30 and October 2, 
1864; Hatcher's Run, October 27-28, 1864; Fort Stedman, March 25, 
1865 ; Fall of Petersburg, April 2, 1865. 

Muster Roll — Company M. 

H. Ballou, J. Perry, Caroga ; F. D. Brown, W. Cole, G. N. Evans, S. 
McDougall, J. Snyder, J. N. Van Natter, Johnstown ; F. Hudson, 
Mayfield ; Ira H. Vosburg, Perth. 

Sixteenth Regiment — A rtillery. 

In Company H of this regiment were men from Oppenheim, Fulton 
county, as follows : Lyman Billings, Joseph D. Brown, Daniel Clemens, 
Daniel Cunningham, Jacob Keck, Michael Smith, Ernest Silbyney, 
John Strobuck. 
20 



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,54 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 



CHAPTER XVI. 
THE GLOVE INDUSTRY. 

^"'HE art of making gloves has long been a prominent feature in the 
prosperity of Fulton county, yielding a comfortable support to 
all thus engaged, while many have reached wealth. It has flourished 
in this region, indeed, for three-quarters of a century, but, before pre- 
senting its local details, the reader may be interested in its previous 
history. The use of gloves can be traced to the earliest times, and not 
only the ancient Asiatics had them in use but also they have been 
found on Egyptian monuments, as a tribute to the dead; the Persians 
also wore gloves of valuable furs, and Homer mentions that the shep- 
herds and farm laborers of ancient Laertes used greaves and rough 
gloves made of bull's hide in order to protect themselves against thorns. 
Gloves were also in use among the Greeks, being at first considered a 
sign of effeminacy, but later on finger stalls were used by them at 
meals. The latter were subsequently introduced from Greece to the 
the Romans, who were also unacquainted with the use of forks, and 
therefore substituted their fingers. The Romans also wore gloves for 
finery ; their noble ladies attached to their tunics long sleeves, which 
reached over the hands, and we learn from Virgil that the peasants wore 
similar garments during the winter. Military gloves were also worn by 
the Roman soldiers, from which the scale covered gauntlet was devel- 
oped in the days of chivalry. The ancient Scandinavians, the German 
tribes, the Franks, and other early European nations used gloves, both 
in their daily intercourse, and while traveling or hunting, the style 
and material differing according to the occasion. Coming down to a 
iater period ladies began to wear gloves in the thirteenth century, the 
first style being made of linen and reaching to the elbow. Linen gloves 
were followed by knitted ones, and subsequently leather gloves were 
introduced, which became highly popular in the court ot Louis XIV of 
France. In the early part of the seventeenth century the manufacture 



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THE GLOVE INDUSTRY. 



155 



of gloves reached Germany, being brought there by French refugees 
from Grenoble who introduced their art to Erlangen, Haberstadt, and 
Magdeburg. In England, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, great 
display was shown in gloves, some of which cost several thousand 
marks. Glove making is also one of the oldest of the civilized arts of 
Scotland. Much has been printed on the subject both in Europe and 
America and local writers have carefully investigated the origin of glove 
making in Fulton county ; some of their statements are at variance in 
certain details, but it is evident that the material whence all early 
gloves or mittens were made was the skin of the deer, which was 
abundant in the vicinity, and which suggested to the settlers the im- 
portance of making it available in a profitable manner. 

OTHER DETAILS. 

The primitive buckskin mittens and breeches piade by the early set- 
tlers were due to the necessity occasioned by the rough, laborious work 
of the farmers and wood- choppers, leather being also cheaper than the 
product of the loom. It is not probable that any gloves or mittens 
were manufactured in what is now Fulton county and offered as articles 
of merchandise prior to 1 809, but from that date, it may safely be said,, 
the manufacture became a recognized industry. It began in a small- 
way among the New England settlers in the vicinity of Kingsboro. 
They were a shrewd and industrious race, more accustomed to trade 
and commerce than their Dutch neighbors, who were chiefly farmers. 
Many of those Kingsboro settlers were skilled tin workers and their 
ware found sale abroad. Among those who were thus engaged were 
the Wards of Kingsboro, John Monroe and the Leonards of WestBush^ 
also Chester Phelps of North Kingsboro, whose success no doubt led 
others to embark in the same business. It was their custom to make a 
stock of useful articles, pack it upon the back of a horse and then lead 
the animal up the Mohawk, and " Chenango country " (as it was then 
called), and exchange the ware for wheat, peltry, and any other articles 
of domestic or commercial value. In this way they accumulated 
quantities of deer skins, one of which was usually taken in exchange for 
a tin basin. At first these skins were used for jackets and breeches^ 
the latter being especially serviceable because of their durability. 



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156 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

The Indian process of tanning was then exclusively practiced, the 
operation consisting chiefly in the use of the brains of a deer, which 
rendered a soft, phable and durable leather. Later on che brains of 
hogs were substituted, but with less satisfactory results, as the deer's 
brains possessed certain properties similar to the soda ash (" fat liquor ") 
in use at the present day. Indian tanned leather is still used to some 
extent in the manufacture of gloves and mittens, but the greater share 
of it is made by Indians in the western states. The vast improvement 
that has since then' been made in the manufacture of glove leather has 
really thrown all the early methods out of use. 

Ezekiel Case came to Kingsboro from Cincinnati in 1803 with a 
certain knowledge of the Indian tan process and he with others made a 
few mittens, but the first practical leather dresser in the community 
was Talmadge Edwards, who moved to Johnstown from Massachusetts 
about 1809. He was formerly a leather dresser in England and under- 
stood the manufacture of gloves and mittens. He soon made the ac- 
quaintance of James Burr and William C. Mills, who hired him to come 
to Kingsboro and reach them the art. In 1809 Mr. Burr made a few 
pairs of mittens, and took them up the Mohawk, selling them at en- 
couraging prices wherever opportunity offered. The following year he 
increased his output and sold a part of it by the dozen, this being the 
first transaction of the kind in the county. Later on he introduced 
several practical improvements in the process of tanning, among them 
"the bucktail," for which he secured a patent. This invention was 
replaced by the emery wheel, first introduced by Daniel Hays about 
1874. James Burr built and operated a leather mill in what is now 
Forest street, in Gloversville, the property afterwards coming into the 
hands of Aaron Simmons. His son, James H. Burr, and his grandson, 
Harvey W. Burr, still carry on the glove business within a short dis- 
tance of the site of the old mill, and their establishment is a continuation 
of the oldest glove and mitten factory in the county. 

William C. Mills continued to be an extensive manufacturer for many 
years subsequent to 1809. He began making annual trips to the Hol- 
land Purchase in 1805, and bought there wheat for flouring purposes, 
and also deer skins for manufacture. It is said that 400 to 500 skins 
constituted his annual purchases. He died in 1833, but his children 



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THE GLOVE INDUSTRY. .57 

and grandchildren have been, and are to day, prominently identified 
with the industry. 

John Ward, of Kingsboro, engaged in the business about 18 10 and 
made annual trips to Pennsylvania, where he also purchased skins. He 
became a manufacturer of considernble importance and carried on an 
extensive business for those times. He was known as a man of untiring 
energy and strength of character, but died in 181 5, at a time when his 
prospects seemed the brightest. 

Philander Heacock, father of W. J. Heacock, began making gloves 
in 18 rp in the old Haggard house, that stood until recently near the 
Daniel Hays mill in Gloversville. It was in this old house that his son, 
the late Joseph Heacock, was born. Philander had learned the trade of 
bark tanning in the old McLaren mill in Johnstown, the site of which is 
now occupied by a mill owned by Simon Schriver. He afterwards moved 
from the Haggard house to a farm west of the present site of Glovers- 
ville, and continued to dress leather and also make gloves and mittens. 
He was thus engaged more or less until the time of his death, June 22, 
1837. His sons, Joseph S. and Willard J., were both subsequently 
engaged in the manufacture of gloves on an extensive scale. Lemuel 
Heacock, a brother of Philander, was also a manufacturer. As an evi- 
dence of the extent of the industry in 1825, it may be said that Elisha 
Judson, father of Daniel B. Judson, went to Boston that year with a 
load of gloves in a lumber wagon, making the trip in six weeks, and 
bringing back to his employers. Philander and Lemuel Heacock, $600 
in silver. This was the first trip of the kind ever made, and it is hardly 
necessary to add that its results afforded the highest gratification. 

The Judson family has ever since been prominently connected with 
the glove industry. Alanson Judson, a younger brother of Elisha, jr., 
reaped a handsome fortune from its profits, and his son, Charles W. 
Judson, now living in Gloversville, has also been a successful manufac- 
turer. Daniel B. Judson, son of Elisha, jr., and grandson of Elisha, sr., 
is still engaged in the business at Kingsboro, being one of the largest 
manufacturers in the United States. 

Josiah, Daniel and Abner Leonard embarked in the business at an 
early date, probably about 1820. 

Willard Rose was also an early manufacturer, and began making 



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ijS HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

mittens at Bennett's Corners about 1830. He had an extensive farm 
and in connection carried on the glove business for nearly forty years. 
A. S. Van Voast, of Johnstown, was engaged in the business in 1833, 
being then a young man. At the time of his retirement from active 
business he was one of the oldest manufacturers in the country. 

Humphrey Smith began manufacturing in 1834 and his brother, D. 
W. Smith, in 1837. The latter is now living in Gloversville. They 
were at that time located at Smith's Corners, about one and one-half 
miles northwest of Gloversville. D. W. Smith was actively engaged in 
the business for a period of about fifty years, being associated with 
James O. Parsons from 1870 until 1889, at which time Mr. Smith re- 
tired permanently. During his early career as a manufacturer he was 
associated with his younger brother, James H., the firm of D. W. & J. 
H. Smith continuing until i860. 

U. M. Place engaged in the business in Gloversville, then a mere 
hamlet, in 1832, and was an active manufacturer for thirty-nine years. 
He was also greatly interested in promoting the construction of the 
railroad from Fonda to Gloversville, and was so enthusiastic over this 
project that at times he even neglected his personal interests to insure 
its success. 

Rufus Washburn, lately deceased, was engaged in the glove business 
as early as 1836 or 1837. 

John McNab began making buckskin gloves at his father's homestead 
in 1836, before he had reached his majority. Later on he built a house 
near his present residence and continued to manufacture gloves for 
more than half a century, retiring from active business in the fall of 
1887. He has been a successful manufacturer and has won wealth and 
influence and, what is far more, public respect. As his name has been 
prominently connected with the old West mill property at the extreme 
west end of Fulton street, in the city of Gloversville, it may be proper 
to add a brief sketch of that* historic mill. When John McNab, sr. 
settled on the old homestead in 1803, there was a grist-mill standing on 
the premises now known as the West mill property. This was pur- 
chased by Jacob Clute about 1823 or 1824, and occupied by John D. 
Clute, his brother, who built and conducted a small store which con- 
tained the usual miscellaneous assortment for country traffic. The grist- 



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THE GLOVE INDUSTRY. 159 

mill was afterward discontinued and the water power used to drive a 
double set of stocks with a flutter wheel. A small dam was subse- 
quently constructed below this mill and the power was used to propel 
the machinery in a carding and fulling-mill, which was operated by 
John Howe and James and Timothy Wrigley. John McNab, sr., also 
constructed a primitive skin-mill, consisting of one set of double stocks, 
propelled by a pitch- back water wheel. The entire West mill property 
passed into the hands of Daniel Leonard, who built a mill and put in 
four double stocks which were run by an overshot wheel. He con- 
tinued to operate this mill until November 23, 1843, when it was pur- 
chased by John McNab, jr., who increased the power and rebuilt a 
portion of the mill. It was operated for a number af years by Lewis 
Johnson, but the title of the property remained in the hands of Mr. 
McNab until February i, 1887, when, with the full concurrence of 
Johnson, it was sold to its present owners, the West Mill Company, at 
that time consisting of T. C. Foster, Lawton Caten and W. D. West. 

About 1845 John McNab constructed a trunk or water-way from the 
small dam on his father's property, for a distance of 100 rods in an east- 
erly direction and built a mill, and a large overshot wheel, with six 
double sets of stocks, bucktails, etc., on the site of the mill now owned 
by Daniel Hays on West Fulton street. The water that had thus been 
brought to the mill by artificial means was utilized to propel the stocks 
and machinery. This mill was afterwards sold by Mr. McNab to James 
Christie and George Mills, who conducted it for a time and then sold it 
to its present owner, Daniel Hays. 

Jonathan Ricketts has long been one of Fulton county's prominent 
glove and leather men. He came to America in 1837, from Yoevil, 
England, and located in Johnstown in 1839. He began business as a 
leather dresser in the winter of 1840-41, doing nearly all the work him- 
self. This was in the old McLaren mill near the cemetery in Johnstown. 
He introduced the dressing of sheep-skin in 1841 and reaped a rich re- 
ward from that business for many years. He began dressing South 
American sheep skins about 1848 and in 1855 he used nearly 40,000 of 
them. The first mill which he built is still standing, just east of the 
Cayadutta creek, on West Main street in Johnstown. It was erected in 
1856 and occupied by Mr. Ricketts nearly twenty- five years. He began 



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i6o HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

making sheep-skin gloves in 1841 and carried on both tanning and 
glove making, relinquishing the former business about five years ago, and 
the latter two years later, having acquired a competency by a life of 
active toil and perseverance. He received the silver medal at the New 
York State Agricultural Society's Fair, held at Albany in 1850, for gen- 
tlemen's kid gloves. He was contemporaneous with the Bertrands, who 
came from France in 1844, bringing with them the art of manufacturing 
fine kid gloves, which up to that time was unknown in Fulton county, 
but it was not carried on to an important extent until after the late 
civil war. 

Marcellus Gilbert was one of the early glove manufacturers, and sub- 
sequently established the firm of Gilbert & Wells, of Johnstown, which 
was eminently successful. Among other manufacturers who were en- 
gaged in the business in and about Johnstown prior to 1840 were James 
McMartin, D. H. Cuyler, Samuel Hill and Howard Hill. 

John Filmer was one of the early leather dressers He came to Ful- 
ton county from Brooklyn in 1832 and was engaged in dressing leather 
in Gloversville for such well remembered manufacturers as the McNabs,. 
Leonards and Evans. 

Isaac V. Place began manufacturing in 1840, his shop being a few 
miles north of Kingsboro. He afterwards carried on the leather busi- 
ness together with the manufacture of gloves and continued thus untif 
within a few years of his death, which occurred in December, 1891. 

Many others might be mentioned who have been connected directly 
or indirectly with the glove industry in the county, as the assertion has. 
been truthfully made that three- fourths of the inhabitants are engaged 
in some of its various branches. The reader will find brief notices of 
those manufacturers who have embarked in the business since the mid- 
dle of the century, in the succeeding chapters of this work. 

The early process of making gloves differed greatly from that prac- 
ticed at the present time. There are many persons now living who 
can remember the time when gloves were cut from the skins with com- 
mon shears. The patterns were made of pasteboard or shingles and 
were laid upon the leather and traced with sharp pointed pieces of lead,, 
commonly called " plummets," which were often made by pouring 
melted lead into a crack in the kitchen floor. Many hundred thousand 



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THE GLOVE INDUSTRY. i6i 

dozens of gloves and mittens have been cut from skins marked in this 
way. The goods made during the early days, although rough and 
primitive in style and workmanship, were eagerly sought after by those 
who performed heavy labor, and hence the tin peddlers disposed of many 
dozens of them during a season. Later on, when the manufacture of 
gloves superseded that of tin- ware, and the industry gave evidence of 
a prosperous future, many men, women and children in all parts of the 
county became engaged in it. The men and children usually cut the 
gloves and the wives and daughters did the stitching, usually placing 
one mitten on the seat beneath them and sitting upon it while plying 
the needle on its mate. This method partially served the purpose of 
the modern "laying off" table, straightening the mitten out, and hav- 
ing a tendency to make it soft and flexible. 

In the course of time, when the sewing machine was introduced into 
the business, these same wives and daughters readily became familiar 
with its use and to-day a, majority of the farm houses in Fulton County 
each contains one or more of these machines. 

THE SEWING MACHINE. 

The introduction and development of the sewing machine in glove 
making presents an important feature in the history of the industry. In 
the early days, when all gloves were made in family circles, and when 
no manufacturer thought of having his goods stitched inside his shop, 
the gloves after being cut, were matched with fourchettes and thumb 
pieces, and then were tied up with a buckskin string in lots of a dozen 
pairs, with thread, needles and silk, and a handful of scraps to be used 
for weltings. The country people for miles in the vicinity, came after 
these packages which they placed in bags and thus carried home. The 
gloves were mostly made by women, who would thread the square 
pointed needle with the heavy linen thread doubled, tie a knot in the 
end, wax it, place a strip of buckskin between the edges for a welt, and 
then stitch the seam. The lighter gloves were made without a welt, 
backstitched, and an expert needle woman could thus make a neat, close 
fitting glove, while the welted gloves and mittens, if well sewn, would 
give excellent service. This work was laborious, however, and when in 
21 



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i62 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

1852, it became known that machines were being made that would ac- 
tually sewa. seam, and that Churchill & Company, of Gloversville, had a 
machine which they were testing on glove work, manufacturers through- 
out the country became interested and much discussion arose concern- 
ing its merits. Some of the manufacturers were quick to see the great 
advantage that would arise both to themselves and to their employees 
if the sewing machine could be successfully operated in glove making, 
while others were incredulous and declared that gloves sewed together 
with such a machine would never give satisfaction. These first ma- 
chines were " Singers" and were large and cumbersome, both needle- 
bar and shuttle being driven by cog-wheels. They were noisy, and 
their " clatter" often distressed the nerves, but they certainly would sew 
a seam, and a few manufacturers cautiously gave them trial. They 
were at first used to stitch the thin binding on the top of gloves and 
mittens, but as the invention was very imperfect they needed constant re- 
pairs, and eventually Abner Allen, an employee of the Singer Company 
at Gloversville, began to repair and perfect these machines, and was the 
first man thus engaged. The next sewing machine was the Grover & 
Baker, introduced by David Spaulding in 1854. They were framed 
also of cast iron, standing about ten inches high, with a circular needle 
underneath, and leaving a chain stitch on the underside of the leather. 
This machine was largely used in stitching the laps and binding of buck 
mittens, as it was claimed that the stitch was elastic and would not break 
so readily as the lock stitch. In that branch of the business the sewing 
machine completely superseded hand work. Up to that time but few 
gloves were made entirely on machines, and not until 1856, when Niles 
Fairbanks, of Gloversville, introduced the Howe machine, which was 
small and light running, were there any grades of gloves made solely 
upon them. This machine was at once used to make some grades of 
light goods throughout. In 1857 the financial crash was felt severely 
in the glove trade, but the outbreak of the rebellion in 1861 brought 
great demand for gloves for army use. Many new machines were in- 
troduced into Fulton county, and a large majority of the product was 
made entirely in this manner. Then the enthusiasm over the machine 
was felt in every family, and the desire to have one in the hou.se almost 
bordered on a mania. Many manufacturers became agents, and sold 



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The glove industry. 163 

machines, taking pay in work, which introduced them very fast. In 1858 
the wax thread machine was first used here, but it did not come into 
general use until aftet the war, when it was greatly improved. Mr. 
Polmateer is entitled to much credit for the introduction of the over- 
stitch machine, which was the next great advance in glove mechanism. 

His machine is now used more particularly on heavy work. In those 
districts in France where fine gloves are made the overstitch machine 
has been brought to the greatest perfection, and this machine is mostly 
preferred by American fine glove manufacturers. The pique and prick- 
seam machines, though not in general use, will undoubtedly receive 
more attention each succeeding year. The introduction of steam power 
as a means of propelling the sewing machines was accpmplished in 1875, 
and as the operatives could do much more work, many were induced to 
go into factories who previously would only work at home. The sew- 
ing machine has thus assisted modern progress in a manner that has 
been repeated in nearly every labor saving device. A machine that at 
first seemed to rob the hard working women of their well earned sewing 
money, has only proved to be the means by which they can earn a 
much larger amount, and not only in a shorter space of time, but also 
earn it easier. The Singer machine has been constantly improved until 
no feature of the original remains, while very few, if any, of the Grover 
& Baker are being made. The Howe machine has received little im- 
provement, but does good work on fine gloves, if not run at too high a 
speed. The Wheeler & Wilson Company sell many machines for the 
medium grades of glove making, and some new machines are being in- 
troduced. A well known glove manufacturer writing on this subject 
in 1884 said : "There is room for many improvements, and I confi- 
dently expect that the next ten years will develop a machine that for 
fine glove making will supersede all inseaming machines now in use- 

. . . Probably all will agree with me that in the proud position 
the glove manufacturer has reached with us, much credit must be given 
to the sewing machines." 

Niles Fairbanks, now living at Gloversville at an advanced age, holds 
the distinction of making the first cutting dies for gloves and mittens, 
but as in many similar instances, the profit arising from his invention 
has been gathered by others. E. P. Newton started in 1859 the first 



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i64 HISTORY OP FULTON COUNTY. 

general machine works in this county in which glove and mitten cut- 
ting machines were manufactured. 

Much activity was given to the glove trade by the war of the re- 
bellion, and the price of both gloves and skins advanced materially. 
Since the close of the war there has been a general tendency on the 
part of manufacturers to make a higher grade of goods, and while the 
early makers devoted themselves entirely to the production of heavy 
buckskin gloves and mittens, the majority of those now engaged in 
the business make as fine a quality of kid gloves as can be produced in 
any part of the world. This great advance has been accomplished 
chiefly during the past five or ten years. The improved facilities for 
tanning, coloring and finishing, and the knowledge brought to this 
country by great numbers of expert leather-dressers and glove -makers 
from England, Germany and France, has placed the industry in Fulton 
county on an equal footing with all competing nations The business 
indeed has reached so great an extent that not less than from twenty 
thousand to twenty five thousand people are engaged in glove making 
and its allied industries in Fulton county, while from six million to 
seven million dollars are invested in the business. 

The reader will also be interested to learn the varieties of skins used 
in this vast manufacture and also to note the localities in the world 
whence they come. First of all is the deer skin, which opened the way 
for the subsequent development of the industry, but in addition we find 
that at present the manufacturer is using domestic and imported lamb 
and sheep skins, calf, elk, horse, hog, goat, dog, and antelope skins, all 
of which are divided into many grades and classes. The deer skins are 
supplied by all parts of the United States (where they may be found), 
together with Mexico, and Central and South America. The latter 
country sends the celebrated Para deer skin, a large number of which 
commonly called " Jatks " come from the mouth of the Amazon. 
Skins are also designated by terms signifying their origin, for instance, 
"domestic deer skins," are in this manner distinguished from im- 
ported stock, and are divided into " Wisconsins," " Michigans," " Mis- 
souris," thus indicating the locality whence they come. These are also 
subdivided into classes according to the time of year they are killed, 
which has an important bearing on their value. Thus there are 



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THE GLOVE II\IDUSTRY. 165 

western " reds " and " grays," the former being skins taken in sum- 
mer, generally thick and covered with short red hair, whereas, the 
latter, coming from animals killed in winter, are usually thin with an 
abundance of long thick hair. It is a fact well known to the experi- 
enced leather merchant, that the most valuable skins come from the 
warm and even the tropical regions, where the animals have thick skins 
and thin hair, and value is therefore estimated according to the climate. 

It is for this reason that the South American importations are so highly 
prized. Skins are shipped to New York from nearly every port be- 
tween Texas and the Amazon, and are invariably named from the place 
of export. For instance the " mosquitos " (as they are called,) 
come from that part of Central America known as the " Mosquito 
coast," these skins when dressed often present a spotted appearance, very 
similar to the marks left on those who have had small- pox, and these 
" pits," while they do not impair the serviceable quality of the leather, 
detract much from its beauty. It may be added that while deer skins 
are chiefly used in the manufacture of gloves, some of them are wrought 
into other channels of trade, among which is the manufacture of piano 
leather ; this leather is used on the little hammers which form a part of 
the piano movement, and George H. Taylor of Gloversville is its largest 
manufacturer in Fulton county. 

Sheep and lamb skins, both domestic and imported, enter into the 
manufacture of gloves and mittens in greater quantities at the present 
time than any others. Through the various modes of tanning and 
coloring, these skins can be made into so many different grades and 
qualities of leather, that they reach high importance to the manu- 
facturer. They are brought from almost every portion of the world, 
many of the domestics being shipped to Fulton county from distribut- 
ing points in the west, such as Chicago, Cincinnati, and St. Louis. The 
imported skins on the other hand come under the name of " fleshers," 
which means skins that have been split. The flesh side, after the grain 
has been removed, being used for bindings. These " fleshers " are 
chiefly imported from England, Ireland and France. The assertion is 
made that the best leather from sheep-skins is produced from the 
coarse- wooled animal, as they possess the finest grain. Here again, 
the same rule applies as in the case of deer-skins, " the coarser the 



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i66 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

hair the finer the grain." We frequently find Cahfornia, Mexican and 
sometimes Australian sheep -skins in the market, but their quality is 
not deemed first class. Cape of Good Hope sheep -skins were once 
quite extensively used, but only a limited number find their way here 
at present The mocho sheep, which abounds in Arabia, Abyssinia and 
the head waters of the Nile, finds its way to Fulton county from Port 
Said, and is becoming a favorite with fine glove manufacturers. A des- 
cription of the process employed to change this skin into leather suita- 
ble for gloves will be found in another portion of this work. The 
largest manufacturers of mocho skins in this country at the present 
time is the Northrup Glove Manufacturing company of Johnstown. 
There are also a number of leather dressers in Fulton county who are 
making a clever imitation of mocho leather from domestic lamb and 
sheep-skins. 

The antelope skin also holds high importance, and at one time the an- 
nual production of " domestic antelope " hides was about 80,000 pounds. 
This, however, has greatly diminished and only a fractional part of the 
quantity once used is now brought hither, and yet they afford an excel- 
lent leather, in many respects equal to buckskin, for they are small and 
light, also very soft and tenacious, resembling indeed the celebrated 
chamois. The skin of the African antelope is also valuable, and it was 
from this variety that the first "dongola" shoe leather was made; but 
it is too tight and unyielding for gloves. 

The South American water hog skin is extensively used. A familiar 
variety of this skin is known as the " carpincho," and was first dressed 
by Jonathan Ricketts, of Johnstown, who virtually controlled the market 
for two or three years. He succeeded in tanning them so as to render a 
leather equal to buckskin. Mr. Ricketts introduced these skins to Ful- 
ton county manufacturers, who at once saw their value and they were 
subsequently imported and tanned with great success. Daniel Hays, of 
Gloversville, was among the first to take them up and still continues to 
manufacture them. The domestic hog-skin, however, is of no value for 
gloves, as it produces a hard, brittle and unyielding leather, which one 
well-known manufacturer neatly said, is " fit for nothing but shingles." 
It is a singular fact that the skin of those animals with the uncloven 
hoof or claw foot (with the exception of the horse and South American 



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THE GLOVE INDUSTRY. 167 

water hog) is unsuited for gloves, while the skin of animals with the 
split -hoof, such as the deer, sheep, antelope and calf make excellent 
glove leather. 

The Russian colt-skin is used for ladies' gloves, while dog-skins are 
extensively used in the manufacture of driving gloves. 

Large quantities of Jersey cloth and knit goods enter into the manu- 
facture of the cheaper grades of gloves and mittens and this feature of 
the industry is constantly increasing. 

Dressing and Tanning the Skins. — Radical changes have taken place 
in many features of the tanning process during the past fifteen or twenty 
years. Many of the earlier glove makers dressed and tanned their own 
leather, and a number of the leading manufacturers still continue this 
custom, as it insures a uniform quality for their goods and also saves 
them the tanner's profit. Among these may be mentioned Daniel 
Hays, Littauer Brothers, and John C. Allen, of Gloversville, and the 
Northrup Glove Manufacturing Company, of Johnstown. Tanning and 
dressing skins, however, has become a distinct and separate feature of 
the industry and there are at present more than thirty- five leather 
manufacturers in Fulton county, who have thus invested each from 
five to forty thousand dollars. 

A large share of the buck and sheep skins dressed in Fulton county 
is shipped to other parts of the country to be used by shoe and saddlery 
manufacturers and also to makers of piano leather. Millions of dollars 
worth of shoe leather is also manufactured from sheep, calf, cow and 
kangaroo skins at Gloversville and Johnstown, all of which finds a mar- 
ket in the large shoe manufacturing centres. Much of this leather goes 
to Boston and Eastern Massachusetts, while in two or three cases the 
Eastern dealers and commission merchants have their leather manufac- 
tured in Gloversville by contract 

Such remarkable progress has been made in the manufacture of sheep 
and lamb-skins that the great majority of the gloves made from these 
skins are termed " kid gloves," In fact the term " domestic or imported 
kid " is taken literally by the trade as meaning sheep or lamb skins 
treated with the kid dressing. Until recently the imported " kid skins " 
have been considered superior to those manufactured in this country, as 
they come largely from Germany, where a greater amount of time is con- 



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,68 BIS TORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

sumed in dressing and tanning, but within the past few years rapid 
strides have been made by the Fulton county manufacturers in dress- 
ing "kid leather" from sheep and lamb skins, and many experts now 
claim that the leather made here is in every respect equal to that from 
abroad. One obstacle in the way has been the fact that the foreign 
manufacturers have controlled the market on the sheep skins and have 
thus drawn to England, Germany and France the choicest skins in the 
world. Competition and an increased local demand will undoubtedly 
create a new market for these skins and American manufacturers may 
hope to be placed upon an equal footing with those in Europe. 

The sheep and lamb-skins come to Fulton county in what is known 
as a " salt picklg," applied after the wool has been removed. As al- 
ready stated the greater share of " domestics'' are brought here from 
the West, where they are shorn of their wool, and folded together in 
bundles. When received at the mill they are first thoroughly 
" drenched," or washed in water to remove the salt and extract the 
" pickle" as effectually as possible. It is then customary to place them 
in an alum bath for about twelve hours, after which they are staked. 
This consists of stretching or drawing the skin over a thin, round-faced 
iron attached to a stationary, upright piece of wood about the height 
of a man's knee. The skins are drawn over this, partly by the hand 
and partly by the knee of the workman, and the operation is generally 
termed " knee staking." "Arm staking " is a similar process often re- 
peated in the dressing of leather, particularly in the glove factories. 

In this operation the workman has a similar piece of iron, but it is at- 
tached to a section of hard wood that fits into the arm pit, and thus af- 
fords a pressure direct from the shoulder. The skins are taken from 
the staking-rooms and dried. This is accomplished either in the open 
air, or in artificially heated rooms according to the nature of the skin 
and the time necessary to dry it. They are then washed again, staked 
and dried with much care. It is customary at this stage of the process 
to sort the skins with regard to size and quality and then place them 
in the egg bath. This is composed of the yolks of eggs, prepared by 
mixing ten parts of salt with ninety parts of egg yolk. Many thou- 
sand dozens of eggs are thus used annually — one Johnstown firm alone, 
consuming two car-loads, or about 15,000 dozen in one season. The 



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THE GLOVE INDUSTRY. 169 

skins are revolved in a drum until the egg yolk is thoroughly worked 
into every pore, which makes them soft and pliable. They are tlien 
ready to color and are placed with the flesh side down on zinc or lead 
tables, and the dye spread over them with brushes. The coloring is 
made of various pigments, among them redwood, lignum -vitae, wood- 
citron, Brazil bark and many other coloring materials, according to the 
shade desired. A mordant, consisting of alum, copperas and blue vit- 
riol is then washed over them to set the color. They are then thor- 
oughly dried, afterwards dampened again, and rolled up in parcels, with 
the flesh side out, and stored away to season, which has the effect of 
rendering every portion of them equally flexible and soft. They are 
then ready for " mooning" process, sometimes called " shaving." This 
consists in taking the superfluous particles of flesh and skin from the 
leather, which renders it uniform in thickness and suitable for the glove 
cutter. It is accomplished with a thin, round, sharp steel knife, set at 
a slight angle, having a hole in the centre to which a movable handle 
is attached. The workman, who must be an expert, then grasps the 
skin, the upper end of which is fastened to horizontal bars arranged for 
the purpose, and draws his sharp knife deftly over the flesh side, leav- 
ing it smooth and soft. The skins are usually run over a swiftly revolv- 
ing padded wheel, which polishes and softens the leather. Some of the 
poorer skins are not colored, but allowed to remain in the white and 
used as welts. 

Jonathan Ricketts dressed sheep-skins in 1841 and was probably the 
first in the county to engage in that branch of the business to any ex- 
tent. It is claimed by some, however, that Christian G. Bach, who 
came from Germany in 1836, milled the first sheep-skins in the county. 

In milling oil -dressed sheep and buckskin the process is somewhat 
different. The skins are first put into the stocks after coming from the 
beam- house, and having been oiled, dressed and milled, they are returned 
to be " scud." This consists in taking off any grain that may have been 
left on them when the skins were first frized. The next step in the proc- 
ess is to return the skins to the mill where they are scoured. This 
includes placing the skins in vats filled with a hquor made of soda-ash, 
where they remain until the grease is removed, when they are again 
placed in the stocks where the remaining grease is worked out with 
22 



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,70 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

water. They are dried and scoured several times until all possibility of 
grease remaining in them is removed. They are then staked and fin- 
ished, put through the splitting machine and are ready for the glove 
cutter. From two to five months is required to dress buckskin, and 
from four to six weeks for pil-dressed sheep-skin. In dressing grained 
leather the hides are received in the raw state, and include calf, horse, 
cow, hog, goat and sheep-skins. They are first limed and placed in 
the vats where they remain about four weeks. At the end of that time 
they are sufficiently limed to enable the beam men to remove the hair 
or wool. The flesh adhering to the skins is usually removed in the 
large mills by a Hemingway fleshing machine. The skins then go to 
the drenches, where the lime is removed. They are then tanned in salt, 
alum and gambler. A portion of the stock is egged, and after being 
dried is " broken out " on a breaker or power stake, after which the 
skins are drummed and are then ready for the market Another por- 
tion of the skins pass through a fat liquor process, and after being dried 
are treated in a similar manner to those that are egg tanned. Fish, lard 
and neats foot oil enter largely into this process. Deer-skins are some- 
times rubbed with dry ochre or smoked, as may be desired. Aaron 
Simmons, who has been connected with the leather business since 1845, 
is said to have introduced the smoking of skins. It is accomblished by 
placing several hundred of them on racks in a smoke house, and allow- 
ing the smoke from a slow fire to settle upon them. The skins are 
hung out in the air seven or eight times during the process and they re- 
quire much attention and frequent handling. It has been truthfully 
said it requires years of experience to make one familiar with the many 
interesting and important features of the leather business. 

In the foregoing review of the origin, progress and development of 
the county's industry an attempt has only been made to give the reader 
a general idea of its character and scope. Were it indeed necessary to 
treat each feature of the industry in minute detail, our whole volume 
would be required for the task. 



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kAltkOAD ENTERFRTSE. 17 i 



CHAPTER XVII. 
RAILROAD ENTERPRISE. 

THIRTY-FOUR years prior to the final completion of a railroad 
into Fulton county, the people of Johnstown were agitated with 
the prospect of rail connection with the outer world, and a puplic move- 
ment for its accomplishment took definite form in the old court-house, 
where a series of meetings was held with a great display of local elo- 
quence. After protracted discussion, the organization of the Johnstown 
and Utica and Syracuse Railroad Company, with a capital stock of 
$75,000, was efifected on the 13th of May, 1836. So great was the re- 
joicing when this news became generally known that an artillery salute 
was fired at Johnstown, with other joyful demonstrations. They were 
of brief duration, however, for the cold fact that a railroad were hope- 
lessly impracticable at that time soon confronted every man of thought. 
Long after this the project of a canal from Fonda to Johnstown was 
contemplated, but this was still more impracticable, and thus public 
sentiment concerning rail or water communication with the Mohawk 
valley gradually relapsed into the former state of indifference. 

At the time referred to there was indeed but little need of a railroad 
farther north than Johnstown, as Gloversville contained only a few 
houses, and even Kingsboro was but a hamlet. Twenty years, how- 
ever, rolled by, and now, reader, let us note the change. The little 
settlement formerly known as " Stump City," and later on as Glovers- 
ville had become a place of equal importance with Johnstown, and in- 
deed very rapidly outstripping it in population. Voices were heard 
from the north pleading for a railroad, and the business interests of Ful- 
ton county had become so large that the people were indignant at their 
isolation from the rest of the world, and they demanded some means of 
transportation more rapid and convenient than even the plank road. 

In 1865 several prominent men in the county interested themselves 
in a project to build a railroad from Fonda, through Johnstown and 



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1^2 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

Gloversville to Garoga, terminating at a point near Canada Lake. An 
organization was effected, and Mr. Willard J. Heacock, who had been 
the leader in the movement, was elected president, and John Wells, 
treasurer. A survey way made of a portion of the distance, and some 
stock subscribed. In those days the New York Central burned great 
quanties of wood in their engines, and the projectors of the Canada Lake 
route cherished the expectation of reaching the timber district of the 
north and transporting to market a sufficient amount of lumber and fire 
wood to support the railroad. Before the matter had taken any definite 
form, however, it became apparent that coal would soon supersede 
wood as fuel for locomotives and in that case the sparsely settled coun- 
try in the northern part of the county would not furnish sufficient traffic 
to warrant the construction of a railroad. The want of sufficient means 
was also an important factor in the failure of the project. A second 
organization was made in 1866 and a limited amount of stock was sub- 
scribed ; but not enough to justify the company in proceeding with the 
construction, and thus the enterprise again dropped into inaction, and 
the hopes of the people were again disappointed. There were several 
men, however, who did not despair. Chief among this number was the 
plucky Willard J. Heacock, who continued to press the scheme upon 
popular confidence. He admitted no failure in an effort which was so 
necessary to the common weal, and therefore, with renewed resolution 
prosecuted the purpose, which now became a part of his very existence. 

He was not, however, to struggle alone, for he had the confidence and 
earnest support of such men as John McNab, U. M. Place, Alanson Jud- 
son, John E. Wells, David A. Wells, Marcellus Gilbert, Lewis Veghte, 
George F. Mills and T. W. Miller, some of whom had been equally in- 
terested in the former projects. In order to comply with the law in 
obtaining the consent of a majority of the property holders in the town 
to issue the required bonds, Mr. Heacock traveled for days and weeks, 
visiting the homes of the people in different parts of the town, and in 
the presence of a justice of the peace, taking a sworn affidavit of their 
support — a labor which required that patience and perseverance which 
was such a well known characteristic. 

Several public meetings where held in the court-house at Johnstown 
in the autumn of 1866 to arouse public interest. Mr, Heacock made a 



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CL^^£:^2yO 



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RAILROAt) ENTERPRISE. 173 

careful estimate of the amount of business that the road would be likely 
to receive from all available points, and presented his figures at one of 
the meetings. An organization was finally perfected on the i6th day 
of June, 1867, and articles of incorportaion of the Fonda, Johnstown & 
Gloversville Railroad Company, with a capital stock of $300,000, were 
filed in the office of the Secretary of State on the following day. The 
officers of company as organized were : President, Willard J. Heacock ; 
vice-president, David A. Wells ; treasurer, John McLaren, jr. ; secre- 
tary, Timothy W. Miller; directors, W. J. Heacock, John McLaren, 
John E. Wells, Byron G. Shults, D. B. Judson, John McNab, D. A. 
Wells, Alanson Judson, Lewis Veghte, George F. Mills, U. M. Place, 
John Peck and Timothy W. Miller. 

On September 30, 1867, a contract was made with Aaron Swartz for 
constructing the road and the work was soon begun, but after pursuing 
it for a time Swartz found the undertaking was a greater one than he had 
contemplated when he made the bargain, and he finally turned over 
the work to Shipman & Middaugh, who resumed operations and con- 
tinued the grading and leveling until November 21, 1868, when they 
too, found the undertaking too great for their capacity and abandoned 
it. The firm of Pratt & McLean also took contracts but accomplished 
little or nothing. 

In the mean time the town of Johnstown, had been bonded to the 
amount of $275,600, pursuant to an act of the Legislatnre passed Feb- 
ruary I, 1867. Recognizing the fact that little progress was being made 
in the construction of the road, the railroad company offered to turn 
over to the town the right of Way and grading as far as it had been ac- 
complished, providing the town would complete, equip and operate the 
road when finished. This offer was not acted upon by the town and 
upon petition, the legislature passed an act in 1870 authorizing the 
town of Johnstown to sell its mortgage bonds to the company for $100,- 
000. This transaction was finally consummated and the remainder of 
the work was done under the direction of the company. 

At this time a man came upon the scene whose name is prominently 
identified with the completion and success of the railroad. This was 
Lawton Caten, the present superintendent, who became connected with 
it in May, 1869; a time when his supervision was of the highest value. 



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tl4 HIS70RV OF PULTON COUNTY. 

Thus far, endless toil and deep anxiety had been devoted to the enter- 
prise by the few determined men whose minds were set upon its ulti- 
mate success ; but they were richly rewarded by seeing the road finally 
completed to Gloversville and trains actually running on the 29th of 
November, 1870. The first equipment consisted of one locomotive, two 
passenger cars, one baggage car, two box cars, four platform cars; and 
the company was in debt some $6o,ooo for accrued interest. The first 
depot at Johnstown was a wooden structure, in which both passenger 
and freight business were transacted. The first station in Gloversville 
was also a wooden building and stood on West Fulton street on the 
site now occupied by the Gloversville Foundry & Machine Company's 
works. It was afterward removed and is now occupied as a creamery. 

The Gloversville and Northville Railroad Company was organized June 
26, 1872, and its articles of incorporation were filed with the secretary 
of state the same day. The officers of the company were : President, W. 
J. Heacock ; treasurer, John McNab; secretary, David A. Wells; engi- 
neer, Lawton Caten ; directors, W. J. Heacock, John McNab, U. M. 
Place, Alanson Judson, of Gloversville ; David A. Wells, Mortimer 
Wade, Lewis Veghte, of Johnstown; W. F. Barker, H. J. Resseguie, P. 
Van Vleck, Michael W. Newton, S. B. Benton, of Northville ; R. C. Os- 
trander, of Hope Falls ; and William Jackson, of Mayfield. The road 
was bonded for $200,000 and the town of Northampton issued bonds to 
the amount of $20,000. The town of Hope, Hamilton county, also gave 
bonds for $8,000, but by an unforeseen technicality they were repudiated 
and never paid. 

The contract for clearing, grading and building fences was let to Res- 
seguie & Newton, September 19, 1872, and work was begun at once. 
The laying of the ties and iron and the equipment of the road was done 
by the company. The road was completed and began operations No- 
vember 29, 1875. 

By reason of failure to pay interest, the mortgage bonds of the road 
amounting to $200,000 were foreclosed, and pursuant to an act of the 
legislature passed April 15, 1880, were purchased by the Fenda, Johns- 
town and Gloversville Railroad Company, since which time the road 
has been owned and operated by that company. This purchase took 
place January 31, 188 1. The new road joined the old one at a point 



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RAILROAD ENTERPRISE. 



'75 



near the present engine-house in Gloversville, the distance to Nprth- 
ville being a fraction more than 16 miles. 

The first mortgage bonds of the Fonda, Johnstown and Gloversville 
Railroad Company, for $300,000, were issued July i, 1870, and expire 
in 1900. The only other bonds are for $200,000, and were issued April 
I, 1 88 1. The second privilege was made for $500,000, but only $200,- 
000 of this amount was issued. 

The old depots at Johnstown and Gloversville were moved away and 
replaced by the present handsome structures in 1888. The two new 
depots are beautiful specimens of modern railway architecture and cost 
about $25,000 each. 

One of the notable enterprises of the company is the improvement 
of thirty-five acres of land situated a short distance south of Northville, 
seventeen seres of which was purchased in 1875. This ground is cov- 
ered with a beautiful grove of pine and hemlock trees and has been ap- 
propriately named Sacandaga Park. The company erected a summer 
hotel on the grounds in 1891 and this is surrounded by at least a hundred 
and twenty- five cottages The hotel is large and commodious, and to- 
gether with furnishings cost $20,000. The Park bids fair to become fa- 
mous as a summer resort. 

A fully equipped machine works, equal to any of its size in the 
country was erected by the company in 1887 on the site of the old depot 
in Gloversville. This is now leased to the Gloversville Foundry and 
Machine Company, who are at present operating it. A car repairing 
shop adjoining this plant, was also built by the company in 1889. 

The directors of the road when operations began in 1870 were W. J. 
Heacock, John McNab, Alanson Judson, U. M. Place, Lawton Caten, 
A. D. L. Baker, and Andrew Simmons, of Gloversville ; Lewis Veghte, 
David A. Wells, Mortimer Wade and John E. Wells, of Johnstown ; 
George F. Mills, of Fonda; and W. R. Fosdick, of New York. 

Mr. Heacock has remained president of the road since its organiza- 
tion, and David A. Weils has always been vice president. John Mc- 
Laren was succeeded as treasurer by John McNab in 1870. Timothy 
W. Miller was succeeded in the office of secretary by Mortimer Wade, 
May 5, 1870. Mr. Wade retained the position until September 20, 
1874, when Lawton Caten assumed its duties in which he continued 
iinf-n thf iarp<;pnt vear. when he was succeeded bv Charles W. fudson. 



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176 HISTORY OF FULTON COUATY. 

The present officers and directors are : President, W. J. Heacock ; 
vice-president, David A. Wells; treasurer, John McNab; superintend- 
ent, Lawten Caten; secretary, Charles W. Judson ; general counsel, A. 
D. L. Baker. The board of directors is composed of the above named 
officers, together with Lewis Veghte, Mortimer Wade, Henry Veghte, 
D. B. Judson, George F. Mills, W. A. Heacock, and William Littauer. 
The general offices are located in the second story of the passenger 
station at Gloversville. 

Fulton County Agricultural Society. — In another part of this volume 
mention has been made of the fairs held at Johnstown in Sir William 
Johnson's day, where undoubtedly the earhest premiums were ever 
awarded for superiority in production or manufacture, in the Mohawk 
valley. These fairs, however, instead of being public efforts were under 
the patronage of one man — the baronet alone furnishing the premiums, 
in order to incite the tenant farmers to increased efforts to produce im- 
proved and varied crops. The early agriculturists of old Montgomery 
county were mostly Germans, and their principal crop was wheat, of 
which great quantities were raised; indeed they were entirely depend- 
ent upon their own production, as transportation in those days was ex- 
pensive, and instead of railways and canals, their avenues of commerce 
consisted of foot paths and Indian trails through the woods. The great 
interest manifested by Sir William in behalf of these agriculturists and 
his desire to see them include in their culture some other crops than 
wheat (which at that time was often unsalable), is shown by the follow- 
ing extract from one of his letters to the English Society for the Pro- 
motion of Arts, dated February 27, 1765. "Before I set the example, 
no farmer on the Mohawk River ever raised so much as a single Load 
of Hay, at present some raise above one Hundred. The like was the 
case in regard to sheep, to which they were entire strangers until I in- 
troduced them and I have the satisfaction to see them at present pos- 
sess many other articles, the result of my former Labors for promoting 
their welfare and interests." 

It is not known at what date the fairs at Johnstown were discon- 
tinued, but this must have taken place soon after Sir William's death, 
which occurred in 1774. > 

A record is found of an agricultural fair at Johnstown, October 12, 
1 819. It was held by a society organized that year, of which Henry F- 



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AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY. 177 

Cox, was president and James Mclntyre secretary. Premiums of money 
were awarded, accompanied in each case by finely executed diplomas. 
Fairs have been held nearly every year since that time, the Fulton 
County Society coming into existence in 1837, just prior to the division 
of the county. 

In 1867 this society purchased from David D. Miller and others 
eighteen acres of land, which now form their present fair grounds. 
The purchase was made by Henry R. Snyder in behalf of the society 
and more than $2,000 was at once expended upon the property for 
fences and buildings, and in 1877 an exhibit hall was erected at a cost 
of $1,000. Other buildings have been added from time to time, the 
grounds and race track having been raised and improved in 1890 at an 
expense of $1,100. What a contrast this affords to the early fairs 
which were held in the court-house! The fairvof 1892 will be the 
fifty fifth under the auspices of the Fulton County Society. A report 
of the treasurer in 1848 shows the receipts to have been $170.55. In 
1891 they were $9,007. The presidents of the society since 1867 have 
been as follows : Henry R. Snyder, 1867-68 ; Jocob Boshart, 1869-70 ; 
Isaiah Yauney, 1871-72; Richard Fancher, 1873; Charles Prindle, 
1874-75-76; Nicholas H. Decker, 1877-78-79-80; Jacob Boshart, 
1881 ; William S. Northrup, 1882-83-84; James I. Younglove, 1885- 
86; Charles Prindle, 1887-88; William S. Northrup, 1889-90; Oliver 
Getman 1891-92. 

The present officers are : President, Oliver Getman ; first vice- 
President, James I. Younglove ; second vice-president, George W. 
Hildreth ; third vice-president, M. B. Northrup; treasurer, William 
T. Briggs; secretary, Eugene Moore ; directors, William Potter, James 
H. Roberts, Jacob P. Miller, John Dewey, James P. Argersinger, 
Charles Prindle. 

23 



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ij8 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 
THE LEGAL PROFESSION IN FULTON COUNTY. 

THE sentiment is commonly expressed that the judicial system of 
the State of New York is largely copied or derived from the com- 
mon law of England. This is true in many respects, and resemblances 
may be traced therein, but a close study of the history of the laws and 
judicial practice of this state will reveal the fact that they are an original 
growth, and differ radically from the old systems of Europe. This dif- 
ference is strikingly manifested in the simple matter of entitling a crimi- 
nal process. In this state it is the People versus the Criminal ; in Eng- 
land it is Rex versus the Criminal. In the one the requirement is an 
independent judiciary responsible directly to the people only ; in the 
other it is a court subservient to a king. 

This great idea of the sovereignty of the people, even over our laws, 
has had a slow, conservative, yet progressive and systematic unfolding 
of the germ into organism. In the early history of the state the gov- 
ernor was in effect the maker, interpreter and enforcer of the laws. He 
was the chief judge of the Court of Final Resort, while his councilors 
were generally his obedient followers. The execution of the English 
and colonial statutes rested with him, as did also the exercise of royal 
authority in the province; and it was not until the adoption of the first 
constitution, in 1777, that he ceased to contend for these prerogatives 
and to act as though the only functions of the court and councilors were 
to do his bidding as servants and helpers, while the legislature should 
adopt only such laws as the executive should suggest and approve. By 
the first constitution the governor was entirely stripped of the judicial 
power which he possessed under the colonial rule, and such power was 
vested in the lieutenant-governor and the senate, the chancellor and 
the justices of the Supreme Court; the former to be elected by the 
people, and the latter to be appointed by the council. Under this con- 
stitution there was the first radical separation of the judicial and legis- 



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DEVELOPMENT OF THE COURTS. 179 

lative powers, and the advancement of the judiciary to the position of 
a CO -ordinate department of the government, and subject to the limita- 
tion consequent upon the appointment of its members by the council. 

But even this restriction was soon felt to be incompatible, though it 
was not until the adoption of the constitution of 1846 that the last con- 
nection between the purely political and judicial parts of the state gov- 
ernment was abolished ; and with it disappeared the last remaining 
relic of the colonial period. From this time on the judiciary became 
more directly representative of the people, in the election by them of 
its members. The development of the idea of the responsibility of the 
courts to the people, from the time when all its members were at the 
beck and nod of one well nigh irresponsible master, to the time when 
all judges, even of the court of last resort, are voted for by the people, 
has been remarkable. Yet, through all this change there has prevailed 
the idea of one ultimate tribunal from whose decision there can be no 
appeal. 

Let us look briefly at the present arrangement and powers of the 
courts of the state, and then at the elements from which they have 
grown. The whole scheme is involved in the idea of first a trial before 
a magistrate and jury — arbiters, respectively, of law and fact — and then 
a review by a higher tribunal of the facts and law, and ultimately of 
the law by a court of the last resort. To accomplish the purposes of 
this scheme there has been devised and established, first, the present 
Court of Appeals, the ultiinate tribunal of the State, perfected in its 
present form by the conventions of 1867 and 1868, and ratified by a 
vote of the people in 1869 ; and taking the place of the old " Court for 
the Trial of Impeachments and Correction of Errors" to the extent of 
correcting errors of law. As first organized under the constitution of 
1846, the Court of Appeals was composed of eight judges, four of 
whom were elected by the people and the remainder chosen from the 
justices of the Supreme Court having the shortest time to serve. As 
organized in 1869, and now existing, the court consists of chief judge 
and six associate judges, who hold office for a term of fourteen years 
from and including the first day of January after their election. This 
court is continually in session at the capital in Albany, except as it 
takes a recess from time to time on its own motion. It has full power 



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i8o HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

to correct or reverse the decisions of ail inferior courts when properly 
before it for review. Five judges constitute a quorum, and four must 
concur to render judgment. If four do not agree the case must be re- 
argued ; but no more than two rehearings can be had, and if then four 
judges do not concur, the judgment of the court below stands affirmed. 
The legislature has provided by statute how and when proceedings 
and decisions of inferior tribunals may be reviewed in the Court of Ap 
peals, and may, in its discretion, alter or amend the same. Upon the 
reorganization of the court in 1869 'ts work was far in arrears, and the 
law commonly known as the Judiciary Act provided for a Commission of 
Appeals to aid the Court of Appeals. And still more recently there 
has been organized the Second Division of the Court of Appeals to as- 
sist in the disposition of the business of the general court caused by an 
over- crowded calendar. 

Second to the Court of Appeals in rank and jurisdiction stands the 
Supreme Court, which, as it now exists, is made up of many and 
widely different elements. It was originally created by act of the 
colonial legislature, May 6, 1691, and finally by ordinance of the gov- 
ernor and council, May 15, 1699, and empowered to try all issues to 
the same extent as the English Courts of King's Bench, Common Pleas 
and Exchequer, except in the exercise of equity powers. It had 
jurisdiction in actions involving one hundred dollars and over, and to re- 
vise and correct the decisions of inferior courts. An appeal lay from 
it to the governor and council. The judges — at first there were five 
of them — annually made a circuit of the counties, under a commission 
naming them, issued by the governor, and giving them nisi prius, oyer 
and terminer, and jail delivery powers. Under the first constitution 
the court was reorganized, the judges being then named by the council 
of appointment. All proceedings were directed to be entitled in the 
name of the people, instead of that of the king. 

By the constitution of 1821 many and important changes were made 
in the character and methods of the court. The judges were reduced to 
three, and appointed by the governor, with the consent of the senate, 
to hold office during good behavior, or until sixty years of age. They 
were removable by the legislature, when two- thirds of the assembly 
and a majority of the senate so voted. Four times a year the full court 



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DEVELOPMENT OF THE COURTS. i8i 

sat in review of their decisions upon questions of law. By the consti- 
tution of 1846 the Supreme Court as it then existed was abolished, and 
a new court of the same name, and having general jurisdiction in law 
and equity, was established in its place. This court was divided into 
General Terms, Circuits, Special Terms, and Oyer and Terminer. Its 
members were composed of thirty-three justices, to be elected by the 
people, and to reside, five in the first, and four in each of the other 
seven judicial districts into which the state was divided. By the judi - 
ciary act of 1847 General Terms were to be held at least once in each 
year in counties having more than 40,000 inhabitants, and in other 
counties at least once in two years ; and at least two Special Terms and 
two Circuit Courts were to be held yearly in each county, except Ham- 
ilton. By this act the court was authorized to name the times and 
places of holding its terms, and those of Oyer and Terminer ; the latter 
being a part of the Circuit Court and held by the justice, the county 
judge and two justices of sessions. Since 1882 the Oyer and Terminer 
consists of a single justice of the Supreme Court. 

The Court of Chancery of the State of New York was an heirloom of 
the colonial period, and had its origin in the Court of Assizes, the latter 
being invested with equity powers under the duke's laws. The court 
was established in 1683, and the governor, or such person as he 
should appoint, assisted by the council, was designated as its chan- 
cellor. In 1698 the court went out of existence by limitation; was re- 
vived by ordinance in 1701 ; suspended in 1703 and re-established the 
next year. At first the Court of Chancery was unpopular in the 
province, the assembly and the colonists opposing it with the argu- 
ment that the crown had no authority to establish an equity court in the 
colony, and doubtful of the propriety of constituting the governor and 
council such a court. Under the constitution of 1777 the court was 
recognized, but its chancellor was thereby prohibited from holding 
any other office except delegate to congress on special occasions. Upon 
the reorganization of the court in 1778, by convention of representa- 
tives, masters and examiners in chancery were provided to be ap- 
pointed by the council of appointment ; registers and clerks by the 
chancellor. The latter licensed all solicitors and counselors of the 
court. Under the constitution of 1 821 the chancellor was appointed 



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,82 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

by the governor, and held office during good behavior, or until sixty 
years of age. Appeals lay from the Chancery court to the courts for 
Correction of Errors. 

Under the second constitution equity powers were vested in the 
circuit judges, and their decisions were reviewable on appeal to the 
chancellor. But this equity character was soon taken from the circuit 
judges, and thereafter the duties devolved upon the chancellor; while 
the judges referred to acted as vice chancellors in their respective cir- 
cuits. But, by the radical changes made by the constitution of 1S46, 
the Court of Chancery was abolished, and its powers, duties and juris- 
diction vested in the Supreme Court. 

By an act of the legislature adopted in 1848, and entitled the Code 
of Procedure, all distinctions between actions at law and suits in equity 
were abolished, so far as the manner of commencing and conducting 
the same was concerned, and one uniform method of practice in all 
actions was provided. Under this act appeals lay to the General Term 
of the Supreme Court from judgments rendered in justice, mayor's or 
recorder's and county courts, and from all orders and decisions of a 
justice at Special Term of the Supreme Court. 

Thejudiciary article of the constitution of 1846 was amended in 1869, 
by which amendment the legislature was authorized, not more often than 
once in five years, to provide for the organization of General Term con- 
sisting of a presiding justice and not more than three associates. But by 
chapter 408 of the laws of 1870 the then organization of the General 
Term was abrogated, and the state divided into four departments and 
provision made for holding General Terms in each. By the same act 
the governor was directed to designate from among the justices of the 
Supreme Court a presiding justice and two associates to constitute a 
General Term in each department. Under the authority of the consti- 
tutional amendment adopted in 1882, the legislature in 1883 divided 
the state into five judicial departments, and provided for the election of 
twelve additional justices to hold office from the first Monday in June, 
1884. 

In June, 1877, the legislature enacted the Code of Civil Procedure 
to take the place of the Code of 1848. By this many minor changes 
in the practice of the court were made, among them a provision that 



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DEVELOPMENT OF THE COURTS. 183 

every two years the justices of the General Terms, and the chief judges 
of the Superior City Courts, should meet and revise and establish gen- 
eral rules of practice for all the courts of record in the state, except the 
Court of Appeals. 

These are in brief the changes through which the Supreme Court of 
the state of New York has passed in its growth from the prerogative of 
an irresponsible governor to one of the most independent and en- 
lightened instrumentalities for the protection and attainment of the 
rights of citizens, of which any state or nation, ancient or modern, can 
rightfully boast. So well is this fact understood by the people that by 
far the greater amount of business which might be done in inferior 
courts at less expense, is actually taken to this court for settlement. 

Daniel Cady, recognized as one of the leading lawyers of the State, 
was the only member of the Fulton county bar ever honored with a 
position on the bench of the Supreme Court. He was first elected June 
7., 1847, under the constitution of 1846, and again on November 6, 
1849. 

Next in inferiority to the Supreme Court is the County Court, held 
in and for each county for the state, at such times and places as its 
judges may direct. This court has its origin in the English Court of 
Sessions, and, like it, at first had crimimal jurisdiction only. By an act 
passed in 1683, a Court of Sessions, having power to try both civil and 
criminal causes by jury, was directed to be held by three justices of the 
peace, in each of the counties of the province twice a year, with an 
additional term in Albany and two in New York. By the act of 1691, 
and the decree of 1699, all civil jurisdiction was taken from this court 
and conferred on the Common Pleas. By the sweeping changes made 
by the constitution of 1846, provision was made for a County Court in 
each county of the state, except New York, to-be held by an officer to 
be designated the county judge, and to have, such jurisdiction as the 
legislature might prescribe. Under the authority of this constitution, 
the County Courts have been given, from time to time, juiisdiction in 
various classes of actions not necessary to be enumerated here ; and 
have also been invested with certain equity powers in the foreclosure 
of mortgages; to sell infants' real estate; to partition lands; to ad- 
measure dower and care for the persons and estates of lunatics and 
habitual drunkards. 



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i84 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

The judiciary act of 1869 continued the existing jurisdiction of 
County Courts, and conferred upon them original jurisdiction in all 
actions in which the defendant lived within the county, and the dam- 
ages claimed did not exceed one thousand dollars. Like the Supreme 
Court, the County Court now has its civil and criminal side. In crimi- 
nal matters the county judge is assisted by two justices of sessions, 
elected by the people from among the justices of the peace in the 
county. It is in the criminal branch of this court, known as the Ses- 
sions, that all the minor criminal offences are now disposed of All 
indictments of the grand jtft-y, except for murder or some very serious 
felony, are sent to it for trial from the Oyer and Terminer. By the 
codes of 1848 and 1877 the methods and procedure and practice were 
made to conform as nearly as possible to the practice in the Supreme 
Court. This was done with the evident design of attracting litigation 
into these courts, and thus relieving the Supreme Court. But in this 
purpose there has been a failure, litigants much preferring the shield 
and assistance of the broader powers of the Supreme Court. By the 
judiciary act "the term of office of county judges was extended from four 
to six years. Under the codes the judges can perform some of the 
duties of a justice of the Supreme Court at Chambers. The County 
Court has appellate jurisdiction over actions arising in Justice Courts 
and Courts of Special Sessions ; appeals lay from the County Court 
direct to the General Term. 

The village of Johnstown has been the seat of justice of three sepa- 
rately named counties, Tryon, Montgomery and Fulton. The first 
named county was created in 1772, and on the 26th of May of that year 
Guy Johnson was appointed its judge. He abandoned the county, 
therefore his office, in 1775, and it was not until 1778 that his successor 
was appointed. This was Jacob Klock, commissioned February 6 of 
that year, and who served until succeeded by Jellis Fonda, March 22, 
1784. In the year last named Tryon county was changed to Mont- 
gomery county, and so continued, Johnstown being the county seat, 
until 1836. The county judges of Montgomery county, while the seat 
of justice remained in what is now Fulton county, were as follows : 
Jellis Fonda, appointed March 22, 1784; Frederick Fisher, March 27, 
1787; Abraham Arndt, January 24, 1801 ; Simon Vedder, January 28, 



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DEVELOPMENT OF THE COURTS. iSj 

1802 ; John McCarthy, March 2, 1809; Alexander Sheldon, March 3, 
1815; Aaron Haring, February 9, 1819; Abraham Morrell, February 
28, 1833, and serving in the office at the time of the division of Mont- 
gomery county and the creation of Fulton county. Since the organiza- 
tion of Fulton county its county judges, with date of election, have been 
as follows: Donald Mclntyre, January 17, 1840; Marcellus Weston, 
January 17, 1845; John Wells, June, 1840; Nathan Johnson, ^ Decem- 
ber 10, 1850; John Stewart, November, 1855; Mclntyre Frazer, No- 
vember, 1871; Ashley D. L. Baker, November, 1877; Jcry Keck, 
November, 1883, and re elected in November, 1889. 

Surrogates Courts, one of which exists in each county of the state, 
are now courts of record, having a seal ; and their especial jurisdiction 
is the settlement and care of estates of persons who have died either 
with or without a will, and of infants. The derivation of the powers 
and practice of the Surrogate Courts in this state is from the Ecclesiasti- 
cal Court of England, through a part of the colonial council, which ex- 
isted during the rule of the Dutch, and exercised its authority in accord- 
ance with the Dutch Roman law, the custom of Amsterdam and the 
law of Aasdom ; the Court of Burgomasters and Schepens, the Court 
of Orphan Masters, the Mayor's Court, the Prerogative Court and the 
Court of Pi'obates. The settlement of estates and the guardianship of 
orphans which was at first vested in the Director General and Council 
of New Netherland was transferred to the Burgomasters in 1653, and 
soon after to the Orphan Masters. Under the colony the Prerogative 
Court controlled all matters in relation to the probate of wills and set- 
tlement of estates. This power continued until 1692, when by act of 
legislation all probates and granting of letters of administration were to 
be under the hand of the governor or his delegate ; and two freeholders 
were appointed in each town to take charge of the estates of persons 
dying without a will. Under the duke's laws this duty had been per- 
formed by the constables, overseers and justices of each town. In 1778 
the governor was divested of all this power except the appointment of 
surrogates, and it was conferred upon the judges of the Court of Pro- 
bates. Under the first constitution surrogates were appointed by the 
council of appointment ; under the second constitution by the gov- 

24 

I Appointed ; elected at the next general election. 



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i86 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

ernor with the approval of the senate. The constitution of 1 846 abro- 
gated the office of surrogate in all counties having less than forty thou- 
sand population, and conferred its powers and duties upon the county 
judge. Bythe Code of Civil Procedure surrogates were invested with all 
the necessary powers to carry out the equitable and incidental require- 
ments of their office. In its present form, and sitting in Fulton county 
both at Johnstown and Gloversville each week, this court affijrds a cheap 
and expeditious medium for the care and settlement of estates and the 
guardianship of infants. The incumbents of the office of Surrogate in 
Tryon, Montgomery and Fulton counties, during the time in which 
Johnstown was the county seat, have been as follows : Christopher P. 
Yates, appointed March 23, 1788 ; Isaac Paris, March 13, 1787 ; Josiah 
Cram, April 6, 1790; Charles Walton, February 18, 1800; James Lan- 
sing, August 13, 1 80 1 ; Tobias A. Stoutenburgh, February 12, 1S21 ; 
Richard H Cushney, July 17, 1838. 

Archibald McFarlan was commissioned surrogate of Fulton county 
July 17, 1838, and held office to June 1847, at which time the provis- 
ion of the constitution of 1846 became operative; and by which the 
office and duties of surrogate devolved upon the county judge. 

The only remaining courts which are common to the whole state are 
the Special Sessions, held by a justice of the peace for the trial of minor 
crimirfal offenses, and Justice Courts with a limited civil jurisdiction. 
Previous to the constitution of 1821, modified in 1826, justices of the 
peace were appointed ; since that they have been elected. The office 
and its duties are descended from the English office of the same name, 
but are much less important, and under the laws of this state purely the 
creature of the statute. The office is now of very little importance in 
the administration of law, and with the loss of much of its old time 
power has lost all of its former dignity. 

This brief survey of the courts of New York, which omits only those 
which are local in character, gives some idea of the machinery provided 
for the use of the members of the bench and bar at the time of the for- 
mation of Tryon County in 1772; Montgomery County in 1784, and 
Fulton County in 1838. An act of the legislature, passed May 8, 1847, 
divided the state into eight judicial districts ; and Fulton county with 
Warren, Saratoga, Washington, Essex, Franklin, St. Lawrence, Clin- 



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THE FORMER BAR. 187 

ton, Montgomery, Hamilton, and Schenectady counties, comprised the 
Fourth district. By chapter 329 of the laws of 1883, the Third and 
Fourth districts were included in the Fourth Judicial Department of 
the state. 

The organization of the courts in Fulton county was accomplished 
with little difficulty and no unnecessary formality. At that time the 
machinery of the law was so well understood that there could be no 
confusion either in opinion or action, for the constitution of 182 1 had 
made clear all the ambiguities of its predecessors, and all that was re- 
quired was that the judges of the several courts should interpret the 
law according to precedents already established, while the attorneys 
were only required to present to the court and jury the interests of their 
respective clients according to their best judgment and ability. 

The Bar of Fulton county has ever been noted for its strength. On 
the bench, and as well as pleading in her courts, have been men of the 
highest professional character and of great moral worth. Among the 
leading legal minds of this state, Fulton county has furnished a liberal 
proportion, many of which have attained distinction, and some, emi- 
nence. They are recognized as men of strict integrity and acknowledged 
ability, qualities which have given them a high standard in the legisla- 
tive halls both of the state and the nation. 

Daniel Paris and Matthias B. Hildreth were prominent Johnstown 
lawyers during the early part of the present century. The former was 
a son of Isaac Paris, who was slain at Oriskany. He served a term in 
the state senate, and wielded great influence while member of the 
Council of Appointment. Later on he removed to Troy, where he is 
buried. Matthias B. Hildreth became attorney-general, and his duties 
led him to the state capital, but he died in Johnstown and his grave is 
to be seen in the old cemetery. 

Aaron Haring came from New Jersey, and was for many years a 
prominent member of the bar, being at one time chief judge of Common 
Pleas. His office stood for a half century on the Court House plot, 
and as he reached extreme age he is remembered by many of the 
older citizens. Abraham Morrell was also a noted lawyer at the .same 
time, and held the office of chief judge of Common Pleas for many 
years. He was a zealous politician, and was the first to raise a hickory 
pole in Johnstown, in which he was aided by his party adherents. 



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i88 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

Peter Brooks came from Herkimer, and was brother-in-law of Capt. 
George L. Eacker, who fought a duel with Philip Hamilton. Mr. 
Brooks passed a large part of his life in Johnstown, where he built an 
elegant house, which is now occupied by Dr. Lefler. 

Benjamin Chamberlain was prominent among the Johnstown lawyers 
for many years. He erected, in 1816, the finest brick house in the 
county, which is still standing (corner of Market and Clinton streets), 
and though no longer used as a dwelling still retains its ancient dignity. 
Mr. Chamberlain was an able counselor, and Donald Mclntyre, who 
became the first judge of Fulton county, was one of his students. Later 
on Mr. Mclntyre moved to Ann Arbor but afterwards returned to 
Johnstown and engaged in banking. His last days, however, were 
passed in Ann Arbor. 

William I. Dodge, who was for many years noted both in the legal 
and political world, was a native of Johnstown. He was at one time 
district attorney, and he was also elected to the state senate. Later on 
he removed to Syracuse, where he died. 

Charles McVean, who was born and bred in Johnstown, studied law 
with William L. Dodge and became a successful practitioner. He w£is 
for one term district attorney, and was also elected to congress. Later 
on he removed to New York, where he held the office of surrogate, dy- 
ing before the expiration of his term. 

Edward Bayard, a member of the historic family of that name, mar- 
ried a daughter of Daniel Cady and became a member of the Mont- 
gomery County Bar. Later on, however, he exchanged law for medi- 
cine, and having removed to New York, attained high rank in his 
profession. He died September 28, 1889. 

Henry Cunningham — The career of this brilliant young man was 
terminated so early that he never fulfilled the promise of his youth, but 
had his life been sufficiently prolonged he would have made his mark 
upon the age. As it is, however, it may be said that his impromptu 
speech in the assembly created a greater sensation throughout the state 
than any other effort of the kind prior to the rebellion. Cunningham 
had, as a lawyer, attracted much notice, and he was elected to the 
assembly in 1823 (taking his seat January i, 1824), and the close of the 
session wa?? marked by a contemptible party cabal, whose object was 



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THE FORMER BAR. 189 

the removal of De Witt Clinton from the office of canal commissioner. 
Clinton, while governor, had begun the canal, and on the close of his 
office he was made canal commissioner, but the ruling party found him 
an obstacle to its schemes and his removal became its secret but de- 
termined purpose. The last day of the session was chosen for its 
accomplishment, and it was suddenly sprung upon the house, thus cre- 
ating an intense excitement. Cunningham, though politically opposed 
to Clinton, was so indignant at this outrage that he rose from his seat 
with a face glowing with indignation and gave utterance to his emotions 
in the following bold and manly outburst : " Mr. Speaker," he ex- 
claimed, " it is with no ordinary feelings of astonishment that I hear the 
resolution for the removal of Mr. Clinton. It is calculated to arouse 
every honorable man. It is marked by black ingratitude and base de- 
sign. For what purpose has it been sent here at the very last moment 
in the session ! We have spent three months in our legislative duty, 
and not one word has been uttered intimating a design to expel the 
honorable gentleman from the Board of Canal Commissioners. Sir, he 
was called to that place because of his transcendent fitness. His labor 
for years had been arduous and unceasing for the public good. He had 
endured slander and persecution, but he pursued his course with firm 
and steady step until he was crowned by success, and the most flagrant 
of his opponents sat in sullen silence. When the contemptible party 
strifes of the present day shall have passed by and the present poHtical 
jugglers shall be forgotten ; when the gentle breeze shall wave over the 
tomb of that great man, breathing that just tribute which is now with- 
held, the pen of the historian will do him justice and will erect a proud 
monument of fame. For what did Mr. Clinton endure all this ? Was 
it for a salary ? No, sir ! it was from patriotic motives, for which he 
asked nothing and received nothing, nor did he expect anything but 
the good of his country. Now, sir, I put the question to this honorable 
house on their oaths, whether they are ready to commit this act of in- 
gratitude ? I hope it is a redeeming feature of this house that we shall 
not be guilty of so great an outrage. What, let me. ask, shall we an- 
swer when we return to our constituents ? What can we charge against 
Mr. Clinton ? Of what has he been guilty that he should now be singled 
out as an object of persecution ? Sir, I challenge inquiry. This reso- 



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I go HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

lution may pass, but if it does we are disgraced in the judgment of an 
injured, but an intelligent community." 

This appeal thrilled not only the house, but the state. It was not 
sufficient, however, to change the purpose of the cabal. Clinton was 
removed, but so great was the popular indignation that at the next 
election he was made governor, an office which he retained until his 
death. Cunningham's tremenduous speech at once gave him distinction, 
but his career was terminated by death before he had passed thirty-six, 
and his grave is still to be seen in the old Johnstown Cemetery. 

John W. Cady came from Florida, and studied law with Daniel 
Cadj', with whom he was in partnership for several years. He prac- 
ticed law during a long professional career in Johnstown, only varied by 
his service in congress and in the state legislature. He was the father 
of;he philanthropic financier, David Cady, of Amsterdam. He died in 
Johnstown in 1854. 

John Frothingham came from Hudson and passed his professional 
life in Johnstown, where he died in 1868. 

Among the many prominent legists at the bar of the courts in 
Johnstown, Daniel Cady held highest professional rank and hence was 
elevated to the bench of the Supreme Court in 1847, ^"^ elected to a 
full term in 1849. Daniel Cady was a native of Columbia county, N. Y., 
born in April, 1773. He read law with John Wentworth, at Albany, 
and in 1795 was admitted to the state courts. He began practice at 
Florida, Montgomery county, but soon afterward moved to Johnstown 
which then was a frontier village. Among his immediate contemporaries 
at the bar in the state at that time, or during the early years of Mr. 
Cady's practice, were such legal lights as W. W. Van Ness, afterward 
judge of the Supreme Court ; Matthias B. Hildreth, twice attorney 
general of the state, Thomas Addis Emmett, Caldwallader D. Colden, 
T. R. Gould and John Griffin. Mr. Cady also at different times 
measured talent with such distinguished lawyers as Alexa,nder Ham- 
ilton, Aaron Burr, Edward Livingston, Brokholst Livingston, Samuel 
Jones, also the Harrisons, Hoffinans, Troops, and Pendletons ; men of 
national reputation both in the profession and also as statesmen. It is 
no fulsome compliment to say of Daniel Cady that he was the equal of 
any of those who have been named. 



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The PokMEk bar. 191 



"Though constitutionally modest, and bashful in the extreme, Mr. 
Cady early worked his way towards the front rank of the profession. In 
those days a lawyer could not argue a cause in the Supreme Court till 
he had practiced three years as an attorney. Mr. Cady argued his 
first cause before the court in bank in 1798, as soon as the rules would 
permit. The first reported case in which he was counsel was Jackson 
ex dem Lord Southampton C. Sample, It involved the title to a large 
tract of land in Montgomery county. Abi'aham Van Vechten was 
counsel for the plaintiff, and Daniel Cady and Aaron Burr for the de- 
fendant." 

Mr. Cady saw great changes in the constitutional, judicial and 
statutory systems of the state. He practiced under four different con- 
stitutions, beginning with the first adopted in 1777 ; and he was one of 
the interpreters of the law under the Code of Procedure adopted in 
1848. The code was the outgrowth of the constitution of 1846, and 
their combined power swept away all " old landmarks, crushing law and 
equity into one mass, and providing for an elective judiciary." These 
changes carried Mr. Cady upon the bench, where, says his biographer, 
" he should have been thirty years before." To keep pace with all these 
changes in constitutions, statutes and judiciary required the closest 
study, while to master them required gigantic intellectual power, but 
Judge Cady comprehended them fully, and expounded them with sin- 
gular clearness and great logical power. 

Judge Cady was first elected judge of the Supreme Court June 7, 1847, 
and again on November 6. 1849, and on this latter occasion it was cer- 
tainly wonderful to see a man of seventy-seven a candidate for such an 
office. His service upon the bench covered a period of seven and a 
half years, and he resigned January i, 1855, on account of bodily in- 
firmities, being then nearly eighty-two, and yet his mental faculties 
seemed to hold their full power. The General Term of the Supreme 
court was appointed on that day at Sandy Hill, Washington county, 
but it was adjourned in consequence of his resignation and suitable 
resolutions of respect were adopted. 

In politics Daniel Cady styled himself " an old-fashioned federalist." 
In 1808 he was elected to the Assembly, and re-elected in 1809, 181 1, 
1 8 12 and 18 13. He was elected to congress in 18 14. His rival in the 



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tgi HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

canvass for the office of judge of the Supreme Court, both in 1847 ^^^ 
1849, was Judge Fine, a lawyer of fine abilities and much popularity in 
the county, but Judge Cady's great strength gave but little chance to 
any opposition. Judge Cady had two sons who died early in life. He 
also had six daughters, all of whom were characterized by more than 
usual intellectual endowment, and one -of the number (Mrs. E. C. Stan- 
ton) has reached prominence in the discussion of some of the leading 
questions of the day. It may be added that a short time before Judge 
Cady's death, Horace E. Smith called on him and found that though he 
was blind with age his faculties seemed bright and active. On this oc- 
casion the conversation included reminiscences of Hamilton and Burr, 
which Mr. Smith mentions as highly interesting. Judge Cady was in- 
deed a practicing lawyer when the famous duel took place between 
these distinguished men, and as he was fourteen at Washington's first 
inauguration he was a connecting link between the founding of our 
republic and modern times. He died October 30, 1859, being then in 
his eighty- sixth year. 

John Wells held prominence among a younger class of lawyers, being 
indeed a connecting link between the old lawyers and the present bar. 
He was a son of Nathan P. Wells, sr., who gave him fine opportunities, 
and after a college education he prepared for the bar and was elected to 
the. office of county judge, in addition to which he was sent to congress. 
Judge Wells was a profound lawyer, but his love of literature was a 
controlling power and he never solicited professional engagements. He 
was one of the clearest thinkers of his day and was also an able writer 
on public questions. He died suddenly a few years ago, while in the 
fullness of his powers. 

James M. Dudley was born in the town of Peru, Bennington county, 
Vt, July 19, 1813. His father was a farmer, and James passed his 
youth in farm work, attending school in its season, and laboring during 
the summer until he was about seventeen, when he was sent to the 
academy at Chester, Vt. He completed his elementary education at 
the Burr Collegiate Seminary, at Manchester, and then read law under 
the direction of Judge Washborne and Peter T. Washborne, both at 
Ludlow, Vt. About the year 1840 Mr. Dudley came to this state, 
locating at Broadalbin, and there continued his law study, but afterward 



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THE FORMER BAR. 193 

moved to Oppenheim. In July, 1845, he was admitted in the state 
courts, and in 1854 he made a permanent location at Johnstown, and 
opened an office. Three years later Mr. Dudley became professionally 
associated with Judge John Wells, forming a legal firm which ranked 
among the first in Fulton county, and which continued until about the 
time of Judge Wells' death Jeremiah Keck, however, who had studied 
law in the office of Wells & Dudley, was admitted in 1869, and soon 
afterward became a member of the firm, under the style of Wells, Dud- 
ley & Keck. This partnership was dissolved in 1877, and was succeeded 
by Dudley, Dennison & Dudley, James M. being senior member, and 
his associates being his son-in-law and son. In 1882 Mr. Dennison left 
the firm to take the appointment of deputy attorney-general, and Mr. 
Dudley and his son Harwood continued in partnership until the death 
of the former, April 9, 1892. 

James M. Dudley is remembered as one of the leaders of the Fulton 
county bar. In many respects he was a strong lawyer, but in every 
transaction, whether professional or in private business, he was honor- 
able and just. He loved the practice of the law, not because he loved 
litigation itself, but because it was a profession in which men of his 
legal attainments and honorable purposes had full scope for their powers, 
and at the same time could aid in the administration of justice. His 
clients knew that he would not betray their confidence, his professional 
associates also knew that he was incapable of chicanery, and the bench, 
was convinced that candor and honesty were his characteristics. Mr. 
Dudley wielded influence in Fulton county politics, but was in no sense 
an office seeker. He was appointed district attorney by Horatio Sey- 
mour, and in 1866 was chairman of the Board of Supervisors. In 1871 
he was the Republican candidate for the office of county judge, but 
was defeated by Judge Fraser. In 1872 and 1873 he served as one of 
the committee to revise the State Constitution. He held for many 
years prior to his death the office of United States Commissioner. 

Turning from the living to the honored dead, mention is due to Mar- 
tin and John McMartin, twin brothers and natives of Johnstown, both of 
whom became successful lawyers. John died early and in the midst of 
great promise. Martin on the other hand continued in practice until 
the rebellion, when he became quartermaster of the i isth regiment, 

25 



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,94 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTi. 

He afterward resumed his profession, in which he continued until his 
death. 

James L. Veeder was born at Fonda, where his parents lived for 
many years and reared a large and reputable family. He was educated 
at Union College, and after graduating pursued legal study with Austin 
Yates. He was admitted and began the practice of his profession at 
Fonda, but removed to Johnstown, where his prospects were highly 
favorable. His career, however, was brought to an untimely close by 
typhoid fever, of which he died in March, 1889, deeply regretted by 
all who knew him. 

Tke Present Bar. — In both personal character and professional ability 
the bench and bar of Fulton county have (as has been mentioned), al- 
ways held distinction, and did our space permit the subject would be 
entitled to more extended notice. Under such a limitation, however, 
■our record will only include brief personal facts. 

In Fulton county there is a great variety of business interests, and 
lience there is a fair prospect of success on the part of any energetic 
lawyer ; but the legal business of the county naturally centers either at 
the county seat or in Gloversville, and hence the greatest amount of 
general business is transacted at those places which, as a matter of 
course, contain the majority of the population. Later on, however, 
Northville and Broadalbin have become villages of importance, and the 
lawyer is a necessary part of their population, while with the small pop- 
ulation of Mayfield and Oppenheim, each place seems content with the 
presence of but one resident attorney. The following sketches are ar- 
ranged by towns (for convenience), Johnstown having the preference ; 
and the brief notices given the members of the bar are arranged in the 
order of seniority of admission to practice. 

Mclntyre Fraser was born in Johnstown, March 30, 1822, and is, 
therefore, the oldest native lawyer in the county. He was brought up 
on a farm, and acquired his early education in the common schools, 
supplemented by about two years "at the old Johnstown Academy, un- 
der Peter Burke, principal. In 1845 Mr. Fraser began the study of law 
in the office of John Wells, previous to which he was for a time clerk in 
a store and was also engaged in trade, his partner being the late Jacob 
Burton. After two years of law study he was admitted at the Dutchess 



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THE PRESENT BAR. 195 

county General Term in September, 1847. In the same class of appli- 
cants for admission were Judge William H. Robertson, a prominent man 
in New York state politics, for many years in the legislature, and at one 
time collector of the port of New York, and also Judge Nortlirup, after- 
ward of the Court of Claims. 

Mr. Fraser began his law. practice as partner with Martin McMartin, 
then a prominent Johnstown lawyer, but after two years the latter was 
succeeded in the firm by Judge John Stewart. Four years later Judge 
Stewart retired from the firm (having been elected county judge), after 
which Mr. Fraser practiced without a partner for several years, when he 
became associated with his cousin, Daniel Cameron. In 1869 John M. 
Carroll came into the firm, which was styled Carroll & Fraser. This 
firm has been in existence, with the exception of two years, since its 
formation in 1869 with the addition in 1890 of John C. Mason as junior 
partner under the style of Carroll, Fraser & Mason. 

Originally Judge Fraser was a Whig in politics, but with the disso- 
lution of that party and the formation of the Republican, he, unlike the 
majority of Whigs, united with the Democratic party, and has ever been 
one of its warmest advocates. As a Democrat, in 1871, he was elected 
county judge, defeating James M. Dudley. At the end of his first term 
Judge Fraser was a candidate for re-election, but was defeated by Ash- 
ley D. L. Baker, by about two hundred votes. Judge Fraser was at 
one time president of the village of Johnstown, and his term of office 
was marked by important local improvements under the new charter. 

The practice of the firm of Carroll & Fraser and also of Carroll, Fra- 
ser & Mason, has been for many years very large, extending into the 
adjoining counties of Montgomery, Schenectady and Saratoga. In 1869 
Carroll & Fraser opened an office in Albany, where one of its members 
was in daily attendance. The business at Albany was abundantly suc- 
cessful, but the election of Mr. Carroll to Congress, and of Judge Fraser 
to the County Court bench, required its discontinuance. Judge Fraser 
has been admitted to practice in the United States District and Circuit 
Courts, also in the Supreme Court of the United States. 

Borden D. Smith was born in Boston, Mass., July 19, 1847. His ele- 
mentary education was acquired at Johnstown Academy, and his legal 
education in the office of his father, Horace E. Smith. In 1868, at the 



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196 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

age of twenty- one years, Mr. Smith was admitted at Canton, St. Law- 
rence county. He first practiced in partnership with his father, but in 
1875 the firm of Smith & Nellis was formed, and has since continued. 
Mr. Smith is a Republican in politics, but is not an active partisan. 

Jeremiah Keck, the present county judge of Fulton county, was born 
in Johnstown, November 9, 1845. His early education was acquired in 
the common schools, the Clinton Liberal Institute, and the Whitestown 
Seminary, of which he is a graduate. He read law under the direction 
of Wells & Dudley, of Johnstown, and was admitted April 7, 1869, at 
the Schuyler county General Term. After admission he became junior 
member of the law firm of Wells, Dudley & Keck, which continued 
until 1877. He then formed one of the firm of J. & P. Keck, until Jan- 
uary I, 1884, when, having been elected county judge, he retired from 
active practice to take his seat on the bench. In 1889 Judge Keck 
was re-elected, having previously served in that office six years. 

Robert P. Anibal, familiarly known throughout the county as Judge 
Anibal, was born in Benson, Hamilton county, February 22, 1845. ^^ 
•was graduated from Fort Edward Collegiate Institute in 1866, and also 
attended Cooperstown Seminary, purposing to enter the sophomore 
class of Union College, but was prevented by ill health. He taught 
school and studied law alternately, being for two years principal of 
North ville High School. He read law with Judge Waite, of Fort Ed- 
ward, with Lyons & Brown, of Cooperstown, and with Carroll & Fraser, 
of Johnstown, and was admitted at Albany in February, 1871. In No- 
vember of the same year he was elected county judge of Hamilton 
•county, and kept his residence within its bounds until January i, 1878, 
when he moved to Northville and opened an office. In December, 
1885, he removed to the county seat, and then formed the partnership 
of Anibal & Murray. Judge Anibal is now recognized as one of the 
ablest members of the Fulton county bar, having a special forte in the 
defense of criminal cases. He is known, too, as one of the leading 
Democrats of the county. He was the nomineee of his party for dis- 
trict attorney in 1880, but was defeated by the Republican candidate, 
Clayton M. Parke, of Gloversville. Mr. Anibal has recently acted as 
counsel to the Forest Commissioners, and has spent the last winter in 
Albany. In the investigation before the commission he was awarded 
the closing speech. 



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THE PRESENT BAR. 197 

Edwin Baylies, although a Fulton county lawyer, has gained more 
prominence as a law writer than as a practicing attorney. He is a 
native of Clinton, Oneida county, born August 23, 1 840. He was three 
years in Hamilton College, but left that institution before graduation 
and went to California. Returning in seven years he was graduated 
from the law department of Hamilton College in 1 871, and then prac- 
ticed in Johnstown for five years. During this time he engaged with 
William Wait on his " Supreme Court Practice," and on several other 
law works. He revised and put in form the fifth edition of " Wait's 
Law and Practice," and edited " Baylies' Questions and Answers," a 
valuable book designed to assist law students before examination. Mr. 
Baylies also edited "Trial Practice," " New Trials and Appeals," "Code 
Pleadings," " Sureties and Guarantors," and a supplemental volume to 
"Wait's Law and Practice." 

This reference to " Wait's Law and Practice " leads to the remark 
that William Wait was a remarkable writer of law books. He began 
his profession in Fonda's Bush, and thence moved to Johnstown, where 
he reached wealth ?nd distinction. 

Donald McMartin, the son of Martin McMaitin, was born in Johns- 
town, February 6, 1852. He read law with his father and was admit- 
ted at Albany in June, 1873. He has always practiced at Johnstown. 
In politics Counselor McMartin is an Independent Democrat. 

Philip Keck was born in Johnstown, October 26, 1848. He was 
educated at Johnstown Academy and also at the Whitestown Seminary, 
and entered Hamilton College in 1871, remaining there two years. He 
was graduated from the law department of Union College in 1875, and 
was admitted an attorney and counselor of the state courts. His 
practice began at Johnstown in partnership with his brother, under the 
firm name of J. & P. Keck, which continued till January i, 1884, 
when the senior partner became the county judge. On January I, 
1890, Clarence W. Smith became his partner, the firm being Keck & 
Smith. 

Andrew J. Nelliswas born in Palatine, July 22, 1852, and was edu- 
cated in the common schools and also at Fairfield Seminary. He read 
law with Judge John D. Wendell, of Fort Plain, and attended the 
Albany Law School nine months, graduating in May, 1875, after which 



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198 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

he was for one year principal of the Macedon Academy. His law 
practice began in Johnstown in 1875, as partner with Horace E. Smith, 
a connection that continued until 1879. when Mr. Smith retired. This 
firm was followed by the existing parternership, comprising Mr. Nellis 
and Borden D. Smith, the firm being Smith & Nellis. 

Harwood Dudley, the only remaining member in Johnstown of the old 
firm of Dudley, Dennison& Dudley, was born in Oppenheim, September 
1 1, 1852. He entered the sophomore class at Union College in 1872 and 
was graduated in 1875. He read law during the college vacations, and 
after graduation entered Albany Law School, graduating in 1876. On 
January i, 1877, he became one of the firm of Wells, Dudley & Keck, 
which was followed by that of Dudley, Dennison & Dudley. In 1882 
upon the withdrawal of Major Dennison, the firm changed to J. M. & 
H. Dudley, and so remained until the death of James M. Dudley, April 
9, 1892. 

The old firm of Dudley, Dennison & Dudley gained a reputation as 
law writers as well as practitioners. In 1880 they adapted the sixth 
edition of Cowen's Treatise to the provisions of the code. In 1883 the 
seventh edition was revised by Harwood Dudley, and the decisions 
brought down to that time. In 1881 the firm rearranged (really re- 
wrote) " Edwards on Bills and Notes ;" also, about the same time, they 
revised "Addison on Torts " — both works of acknowledged value. 

De Witt C. Moore is the son of Frederick C. Moore and was born in 
Johnstown March 14, 1851. He was educated at the Johnstown 
Academy and also at Union College, where he graduated in 1877, hav- 
ing been editor of the College Spectator, also one of the editors of the col- 
lege magazine. He won the first prize in the junior contest for prize 
speaking and was the orator of his class at class-day, June, 1877. He 
then studied law and was admitted in 1879, after which he was ap- 
pointed clerk of the Fulton county Surrogate's Court and held that office 
till 1885. He also had at the same time an editorial connection with 
the Fulton County Republican and later on became editor of the Even- 
ing News. He has also held the office of police justice, and was ap- 
pointed by the supervisors their attorney in the appeal of the city of 
Gloversville from the assessment. He is now editorially connected 
with the Johnstown Republican, but also continues law practice, and has 
recently been appointed United States commissioner. 



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THE PRESENT BAR. 199 

Clarence W. Smith was born in Jay, Essex county, October 19, 1855. 
After several terms at the Elizabethtown Academy he entered the law 
department of the University of Michigan, from which he graduated in 
1877. He also read law with T. D. Trumbull, of Jay, and was admitted 
in September, 1883. He began practice in Hamilton county soon 
after his admission, and in the fall of the same year, 1883, was elected 
county judge. On the expiration of his term of office (December 3 i, 
1889), Judge Smith came to Johnstown and became partner with Philip 
Keck. 

Michael D. Murray was born in Ephratah, July 26, 1848. His early 
education was acquired in the common schools and also in the Johns- 
town Academy, together with a preparatory course under Professor 
Kellogg. He entered Union College as a third term sophomore, and 
remained during his junior year, but was not graduated. His legal edu- 
cation was gained in the offices of Carroll & F"razer and also with Edwin 
Baylies, and Richard H. Rosa, after which he became a lawyer by ad- 
mission at Hamilton College. He began to practice at Johnstown in 
1883, and in 1886 became one of the well known firm of Anibal & 
Murray. Mr. Murray is a Democrat and his partisan fidelity was re- 
warded by the appointment of postmaster at Johnstown, March 10, 1887. 

Henry W. Thorne was born in Yeovil, England, December 3, 1859, 
and came to Johnstown in 1867. He was apprenticed to learn the 
trade of glovemaking, but abandoned it and learned stenography. In 
1880 he was appointed reporter for the county court, and was admitted 
to practice in 1884, after having read law in the office of Dudley, Den- 
nison & Dudley. 

Fayette E. Moyer was born at Canajoharie, October 21, 1865, and 
received his early education in the public schools and also at Johnstown 
Academy. He began the study of law in the office of Smith & Nellis, 
in the fall of 1883, and was admitted at Albany in November, 1886, 
after which he at once opened an office at Johnstown. In 1888 he was 
elected justice of the peace to fill a vacancy, and on its close was re- 
elected for a full term. He was appointed police justice of Johnstown 
village in 1 890, and was reappointed in 1892. In politics Mr Moyer 
is a Republican. He was chairman of the Fulton and Hamilton coun- 
ties delegation to the Republican state convention of 1892, and is now 
senatorial committeeman for his assembly district. 



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200 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

John C. Mason, son of James Fraser Mason, and junior member of 
the law firm of Carroll, Fraser & Mason, was born in Johnstown on the 
25th day of October, 1862. He received his early education at the 
" Old Johnstown Academy," under Prof William S. Snyder. Tn the 
autumn of 1880 he entered " Delaware Literary Institute," where he 
spent two years in preparation for college, and was graduated with high 
honors and as president of his class, being awarded the " Benham 
Prize," founded by Thomas L. Benham, of Utica, for declamation. In 
September, 1882, he entered Hamilton College, where he pursued a 
four years' classical course, under the presidency of the late Rev. Henry 
Darling. He was graduated on the 2d day of July, 1886, with high 
honors, having been awarded the " McKinney Prize " for superiority in 
oratory. Returning home in the fall of 1886, he entered the law office 
of Carroll & Fraser, where he pursued his legal studies until 1887, 
when he entered the Albany Law School, under the tuition of Horace 
E. Smith as dean. He was admitted at Saratoga Springs, and on Jan- 
uary I, 1890, became junior member of the present firm of Carroll, 
Fraser & Mason, of Johnstown. Having achieved a reputation as a 
public speaker, he was secured by McMartin Post, G. A. R., to deliver 
the Memorial Day address at Johnstown, May 30, 1888. During the 
presidential campaign of 1888 he was president of the Harrison and 
Morton Campaign Club of Johnstown, and took the stump throughout 
the county in the interest <3l the Republican party. In January, 1889, 
he was elected and became a member of the Lotus Club. At the time 
of its incorporation, May 17, 1889, he became a stockholder of "The 
Opera House Company of Johnstown." In 1892 he was again elected 
president of the " Johnstown Republican Club." He has also been an 
occasional contributor to local papers. 

Frank L. Anderson was born in Saratoga county, December 18, 1864. 
He read law with Anibal & Murray, and was admitted February, 1 890, 
at Albany. In March, 1889, he was elected police justice of Johns- 
town, and was re-elected in 1891. 

The Gloversville Bar. — Among the early lawyers of Gloversville was 
John S. Enos, a man of some prominence in the profession and local 
politics. He served one term as district attorney of the county, and 
when again a candidate for the same office was defeated by John M. 
Carroll, the latter being the nominee of the Democracy. 



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THE PRESENT BAR. 201 

L. H. Copeland was also one of the older practitioners in the village, 
and the period of his practice began about 1850. He afterward re- 
moved to Illinois. 

John H. H. Frisbie was in practice about the same time with Mr. 
Copeland, and, like him, also emigrated to Illinois. 

William R. Davidson prepared for professional life at the Albany 
Law School. He came to Gloversville about 1859, and practiced three 
or four years. 

Alonzo Chace came to practice in Gloversville about i860, and re- 
mained not more than two or three years. 

N. J. Randall also came to the then village about i860, practiced a 
few years and abandoned the profession to enter the ministry. 

James W. Johnson was for twenty years or more a justice of the 
peace at Kingsboro, and deserves notice for such protracted service in 
an important office. 

The Gloversville Bar Association. — On the 5th of March, i89i,a 
preliminary meeting was held by the lawyers of Gloversville, at which 
time there was formed the " Bar Association of the City of Glovers- 
ville, N. Y.," the first organization of its kind in the county. Its object, 
as set forth in the constitution, was " to promote a spirit of brotherly 
and social feeling among its members ; to elevate the standard of integ- 
rity, honor and courtesy in the legal profession ; to fix and maintain 
just and equitable rates of compensation, and to cultivate the science of 
jurisprudence." 

The first elected officers of the association were Clayton M. Parke, 
president; Frank Burton, vice-president; Horton D. Wright, secretary 
and treasurer ; William Green, Edgar A. Spencer and Jerome Eggles- 
ton, executive committee. The present officers are: Ashley D. L. 
Baker, president; William C. Mills, vice-president; Frank Talbot, 
secretary and treasurer ; William Green, Edgar A. Spencer and Jerome 
Eggleston, executive committee. 

Present membership: Ashley D. L. Baker, Frank Burton, Clayton 
M. Parke, Edgar A. Spencer, Nicholas M. Banker, Nelson H. Anibal, 
William C. Mills, William Green, Jerome Eggleston, Clark L. Jordan, 
Henry H. Parker, Frank Talbot, Edwin P. Bellows, E. H. Winans, 
Horton D. Wright, James H. Drury, Hallock C. Alvord. 

26 



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202 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

William Green was born in Johnstown, February 7, 1839, 3"^^ ^^- 
ceived his early education at the once famous Kingsboro Academy, 
then under the direction of Horace Sprague. In 1854 he entered 
Union College, but was not graduated until i860 because of absence. 
He read law with Abram Becker, an Otsego county lawyer, and was 
admitted at Albany in 1862. For a few months Mr. Green practiced 
law in Mayfield, when, in 1863, he recruited about fifty men to fill up 
Company B, Second New York Heavy Artillery, and in recognition was 
commissioned second lieutenant of the company. His service in the 
army continued to January, 1865, when he was discharged on account 
of sickness. After the war he taught school at Newburg, W. Va , and 
in the spring of 1866 went west, where he taught school and engaged 
in business until 1868, when he returned to the east. He practiced law 
in New York until September, 1869, and then came to Gloversville, 
where he has since been engaged in his profession. In 1886 Mr. Green 
was elected district attorney, and was re-elected in 1889, being on each 
occasion the candidate of the Republican party. 

Ashley D. L. Baker was born at West Monroe, Oswego county, July 
28, 1843. He was given an academic education, and studied law under 
the direction of his brothers, William H Baker, of Constantia, Oswego 
county, and S. Park Baker, of Youngstown, Niagara county. He at- 
tended one term at the Albany Law School, and was admitted at the 
Albany County General Term in the fall of 1866. In the spring of the 
next year he opened an office in Gloversville, and has ever been 
regarded as one of the leading practitioners, not only of that city, but 
also of the county. After a few months he formed a partnership with 
H. S. Parkhurst, now of Chicago, which continued until 1884. In 1886 
Frank Burton became his partner, under the firm of Baker & Burton, 
which is now flourishing. 

Judge Baker (as he is commonly known) has been and is among the 
leading Republicans of the county, and stands high in the councils of 
the party. In the fall of 1877 he was elected county judge and served 
the full term of six years. In the spring of 1890 he was elected the 
first mayor of the new city of Gloversville. 

Clayton M. Parke, without question one of the most industrious and 
painstaking lawyers of Fulton county, was born at Clifton Park, De- 



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THE PRESENT BAR. 203 

cember 2, 1847. He was educated in the common and academic 
schools, supplemented by a full classical course at Madison University, 
where he graduated in 1868. He read law with Gale & Alden, at 
Troy, and also with Bullard & Davenport at Albany, and was admitted 
in 1869. After admission Mr. Parke was two years in Albany, assist- 
ing William Wait on the code, and in 1871 he located in Gloversville. 
The only partner with whom he has been associated was Henry C. Mc- 
Carthy. On the 6th of December, 1878, Mr. Parke, on motion of 
Francis Kernan, was admitted to the Supreme Court of the United 
States. Although a Republican of strong convictions, Mr. Parke has 
rarely held office. He was, however, village clerk for two or three 
years, and was elected district attorney in 1 880 and also in 1883. 

Edgar A. Spencer was born at Cherry Valley, November 23, 1847, 
and acquired his early education in the academy of his native place and 
in the Cooperstown Seminary. He read law with De Witt C. Bates, of 
Cherry Valley, and also with Parkhurst & Baker, of Gloversville, and 
was admitted January, 1875. One month later he began practice. The 
firm of Spencer & Banker was formed in 1887. During the years 1876- 
JT, Mr. Spencer was village clerk ; he was also village attorney in 

1889, and drew the city charter. He was also elected city attorney in 

1890, an office which he still retains. 

Nelson H. Anibal was born July 20, 1854, in Benson, Hamilton 
county, and was educated at common and select schools. He entered 
Fort Edward Collegiate Institute for full course, and was graduated 
June 24, 1876. He read law with Clayton M. Parke, and in 1879 
(September) was admitted. In 1880 began practice in Gloversville. 

Jerome Eggleston was born in Northampton January 4, 1854. His 
early education was in the common schools and also by applying him- 
self to study when not at work. He read law with E. A. Spencer, 
being three years in the office, and was admitted at Saratoga Septem- 
ber 10, 1880. In the spring of 1881 he began practice, with his brother, 
Frank Eggleston, for two or three years, but has been alone since the 
latter retired from the profession. Mr. Eggleston is an ardent Repub- 
lican. He made a canvass for the district attorneyship in 1889, but 
failed to receive the nomination, William Green being the successful can- 
didate. In April, 1 890, he was elected recorder of the city of Glov- 
ersville, an office which he still holds. 



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204 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

Edwin P. Bellows was born at Kingsboro, March 24, 185 1, and was 
educated at the old academy at that place. Later he attended Row's 
Institute at Tarrytown, and also a business college at New Haven, 
and the Albany Law School, from the latter of which he graduated in 
1880. Ke practiced law eight years in Albany; was two years in spe- 
cial practice in New York, and located permanently in Gloversville in 
May, 1891. 

Clark L. Jordan, the present mayor of Gloversville, was born at Rock- 
wood, January 2, 1 86 1. He attended school at Lassellsville, Kings- 
boro, Gloversville and Cazenovia, and read law with Welch & Francis, 
of Carthage, and also with C. M. Parke, of Gloversville, and was admit- 
ted at Saratoga in 1882. He practiced about five years in Tryon City, 
Polk County, N. C, whither he had gone to regain his health, and in 
1888 returned to Gloversville. In local politics Mr. Jordan has en- 
gaged actively in Democratic interests. In North Carolina he held the 
position of United States Commissioner, and in Gloversville lie has been 
superintendent of the water works, and also clerk of the board of 
trustees. In March, 1892, he was elected mayor of the city. 

Frank Burton was born at Gloversville, January 16, 1861. He was 
educated at the Gloversville union schools and also at Union College, 
graduating from the latter in 1883. He read law with Judge Baker, 
was admitted in 1888, and became the judge's partner April i, 1886. 
Mr. Burton is not only prominent in his profession, but as well in local 
Republican politics. His office holdings, however, have been limited to 
trustee of the village, and alderman of the fourth ward of the city. 

Henry H. Parker was born in Concord, N. H., February 26, i860. 
His early education was acquired at St. Johnsburg, Vt., Academy, also 
at Phillips Andover Academy, and Dartmouth College, from each of 
which he was a graduate ; and he was also graduated from Albany 
Law School in 1886. After admission he read law one year at Albany, 
and in 1887 located for practice at Broadalbin, but came to Glovers- 
ville in July, 1888. His practice is general in its character but he makes 
a special work of pension cases. 

Horton D. Wright was born in Rensselaer county, December 7 
1862; entered Cornell University in 1880. but left at the end of two 
years. He read law with Charles I. Baker, of Troy, and with George 



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THE PRESENT BAR. 205 

E. Green, of Hoosick Falls, and was admitted September, 1886. The 
same year he located for practice at Gloversville. 

William C. Mills was born in Gloversville, March 28, 1861. He at- 
tended the public schools of the village ; entered Union College in 1 88 1 , 
and graduated in 1885. He read law with C. M Parke, and was ad- 
mitted in September, 1887. 

Nicholas M. Banker was born in Cherry Valley, January 10, 1864. 
He graduated from Clinton Liberal Institute in 1882; read law with 
E. A. Spencer, and was admitted in October, 1887. 

Frank Talbot was born in Otsego county, August 10, 1864. He 
graduated from the State Normal School at Albany, in June, 1886; 
read law with L. S. Henry, at Schuyler's Lake, and also with J. B. 
Rafter, of Mohawk, and was admitted in September, 1890. He came 
to Gloversville in October, 1890. 

David E. Stewart was born in Mayfield, October 22, 1862, and was 
educated at Gloversville High School and the Normal School at Gene- 
seo. He read law with E. A. Spencer and Clark L. Jordan, and was 
admitted in May, 1891. 

James H. Drury was born in Mayfield, May 18, 1865, and gained his 
early education in the Broadalbin schools and State Normal School at 
Albany. He entered Union College in 1887, remaining two years, 
then read law with C. M. Parke, and was admitted at Albany, Decem- 
ber, 1 89 1. He came to Gloversville in 1892. Mr. Drury is in law partner- 
ship with his brother, J. M. Drury, the firm having offices at Broadal- 
bin and Gloversville. 

Hallock C. Alvord was born at Marcellus, Onondaga county, April 
30, 1863, and was educated at Gloversville High School and at Colgate 
Academy, and graduated from Yale College in 1888. He read law with 
Smith & Nellis, of Johnstown, and with Jerome Eggleston, of Glovers- 
ville, and was admitted at Albany, February, 1892. 

Lawyers of Northville. — John McKnight was born in the town of He- 
bron, Washington county, April I, 1817. He was educated in the com- 
mon and high schools of his native town, aud was admitted in 1858. 
He practiced in Warren county until 1871, then removed to Northville, 
where he has since resided. Mr. McKnight has been a firm Democrat 
since 1850, but before that time was a Clay Whig. He has never 



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2o6 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

sought office, but held the position of justice both before and after ad- 
mission to the bar. In 1864 he was the Democratic candidate for dis 
trict attorney, and in 1866 was candidate for county clerk of Warren 
county, but was defeated. In Fulton county Mr. McKnight was twice 
the Democratic nominee for the district attorneyship. In all these po- 
litical contests he was nominated without his request, and twice without 
his knowledge. 

John Patterson was born in Northampton, July 1 1, 1842, and was 
educated in the schools of the county. He read law with Richard H. 
Rosa, and was admitted in 1870. Twice Mr. Patterson has been a can- 
didate for district attorney, once on the Democratic ticket and once as a 
Prohibitionist. In 1891 he was the candidate of the Prohibition party 
for the state senate. He is now justice of the peace for the town of 
Northampton. 

Linn L. Boyce was born at New Berlin, Chenango county. May 16, 
1851. His early life was spent on a farm, but he acquired a good com- 
mon school and academic education, and taught several winter terms. 
He read law in the office of C. L. Teffl:, at Norwich, and was admitted 
at Albany, November, 1875. After two years of practice at Norwich, 
Mr. Boyce moved to Northampton and became the law partner of John 
McKnight, a connection which continued to January i, 1890, since 
which time he has practiced alone. Mr. Boyce has been a member and 
secretary of the Northville board of education since October 1887. He 
was elected member of assembly for that district in 1883, and while in 
the legislature served on the judiciary, public lands and civil service 
committees, being chairman of the latter. 

Lee S. Anibal was born in Benson, Hamilton county, April 20, 1855. 
He was educated at Northville, at Buffalo and at the Fort Plain Acad- 
emy. He studied law with Robert P. Anibal at Johnstown, and was 
admitted in 1879. 

James Van Ness was born in Northampton, November, 5, 1861. He 
was educated in the common schools, and attended Cornell University 
two years ; then taught school two years ; the entered Union College 
and graduated in 1883. He read law with Lee S. Anibal, and began 
practice at Northville in June, 1886. For six years Mr. Van Ness has 
been village clerk of Northville, and for two years clerk of the board of 
water commissioners. 



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THE PRESENT BAR. 207 

Fitzhugh Littlejohn was born in Broadalbin, April 29, 1850, and was 
educated at the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute. ^ He taught school two 
years, and was a civil engineer for four years, and then passed three 
years in the insurance business. He read law in Broadalbin, and was 
admitted in 1887. 

Lawyers of Broadalbin. — John M. Drury was born at Vail's Mills, 
Fulton county, January 16, 1862. He was educated at his native place 
and also at Broadalbin, and after teaching two years, won a free schol- 
arship at Cornell University, where he was graduated in 1884. He 
then taught school at Samnionsville, and later on was principal of St. 
Mary's Catholic Institute at Amsterdam. In 1887 he began reading 
law with Nelson H. Anibal, of Gloversville, and was admitted at Albany 
November, 1889. 

Among the lawyers practicing at Broadalbin may also be mentioned 
the name of Emmet Blair, but this modest legal practitioner furnishes 
no data for a personal sketch. 

M. E. Barker, the only lawyer in Oppenheim, is a native of the town. 
May 25, 1850; was educated in the common schools and also at Fair- 
field Seminary. He read law in the office of Horace E. Smith, at 
Johnstown, and in 1874 graduated from the law department of Union 
University at Albany. He was admitted at Albany, May 5, 1874, and 
began law practice in Oppenheim in 1876, and has held the office of 
town clerk and justice of the peace. 

S. A. Brown is an attorney- at- law, having a residence and office in 
the town of Mayfield. 



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2o8 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

THE MEDICAL PROFESSION OF FULTON COUNTY. 

''r"'HE medical profession in Fulton county has preserved but little 
\ of its history, and while there are a few meagre records by which 
we may learn the proceedings and membership of the medical societies 
that have been formed (one of them dating back to the time when Ful- 
ton county was a part of Montgomery), there are no data upon which 
can be based a history of the local growth and development of medical 
science. The great advance in all branches of arts and science during 
the last century has indeed been marvelous, but in none has there been 
greater progress than in medicine and surgery. 

This science which now does so much to ameliorate suffering began 
with Hippocrates nearly twenty-three hundred years ago, and he first 
treated of medicine with the simplest remedies, relying chiefly on the 
healing powers of nature. He wrote extensively, and some of his works 
have been a foundation for the succeeding literature of the profession. 
The greatest advances in medical science, however, have been made dur- 
ing the last one hundred years and most of them during the last half 
century. Physiologists no longer believe (as did the practitioners of 
the sixteenth century) that the planets have a direct and controlling 
action on the body, or that the sun operates on the heart, and the moon 
upon the brain ; nor do they now believe that the vital spirits are pre- 
pared in the brain by distillation. On the contrary, modern physiology 
teaches that the phenomena of the living body are the results of phys- 
ical and chemical changes; the temperature of the blood is now ascer- 
tained by the thermometer, and the different fluids and gases of the 
body are analyzed by the chemist, giving to each its own properties 
and function. 

Botanists now are acquainted with one hundred and fifty thousand 
plants, of which a large proportion is being constantly added to the al- 
ready appalling list of new remedies. Many of the latter possess little, 



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EARLY MEDICAL SCIENCE. 209 

if any, virtue, yet by liberal advertising they hold a place in nearly 
every druij store. One of these dealers (wholesale) recently issued a 
circular, in which he advertised 32 syrups, 42 elixirs, 93 solid extracts, 
150 varieties of sugar-coated pills, 236 tinctures, 245 roots, barks, me- 
dicinal seeds and flowers, 322 fluid extracts, and 348 general drugs and 
chemicals. What an array of remedies " for the ills that flesh is 
heir to ! " 

The ancients were not so well supplied with drugs, and hence they 
resorted to other methods. For instance, it is said that the Babylonians 
exposed their sick to the view of passers by, in order to learn of them 
whether they had been afflicted with a like distemper, and by what 
remedies they had been cured. It was also a custom of those days for 
all persons who had been sick, to put up (on their recovery) a tablet in 
the temple of Esculapius, whereon they gave an account of the reme- 
dies that had restored them. Prior to Hippocrates all medicines were 
administered by the priests, and were associated with numerous super- 
stitions, such as charms, amulets, and incantations. Sympathetic oint- 
ments were applied to the weapon with which a wound had been made ; 
human or horse flesh was used for the cure of epilepsy, and convulsions 
were treated with human brains. It may be added that the credulous 
superstition of early ages has not been fully eradicated even by the ad- 
vanced education of the present day. One of the latest appeals to the 
credulity of the masses is the so called "Christian Science" and also 
"Faith Cure;" but so long as filth brings fever, prayer will be of no 
avail, and those who advocate such a method of cure are either self- 
deceived or are basely deceiving others. 

It is not our purpose, however, to treat of ancient or even modern 
medical history, and though a review of the progress in this science 
from the time of the Egyptian medical deities, or the Greek or Roman 
medical mythology, would be very interesting, as well as instructive, it 
is not pertinent to the medical history of Fulton county. Our intro- 
ductory observations indeed are merely to suggest to the reader the 
difference between the ancient and modern means of healing the sick. 
" When we take a retrospective glance at the condition of medicine in 
former times, and reflect upon the amount of ignorance, credulity, and 
superstition that prevailed, we cannot fail to be struck with the immense 

27 



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210 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

improvement that has taken place in comparatively modern periods, and 
must be encouraged in the hope, that as the physical and moral sciences 
pursue their onward progress, and as the means and observation and 
experiment are augmented and facilitated, our own noble science may 
attain a pitch of perfection, of which at the present time we can form no 
adequate conception, shedding light where all is now obscurity, and tend- 
ing to dispel doubt and difficulty wherever existent." ^ 

The settlement of the region now included in Fulton county began 
soon after the year 1760, but progressed slowly for the first half century. 
The country was then an almost unbroken wilderness, except as im- 
provements had been made by the tenants of Sir William and Sir John 
Johnson in the vicinity of Johnstown and Kingsboro. Among the 
settlers brought hither by the influence of Sir William was Dr. William 
Adams, but we have no record of the duration of his residence or of the 
extent and character of his practice. Being an adherent of the John- 
sons, this pioneer physician left Johnstown with the followers of Sir 
John, and spent his last days in Albany.^ 

At that time, and indeed at any time for a half century afterward, the 
facilities for obtaining a medical education were very limited. The State 
of New York (unlike New England and Pennsylvania) had done very 
little to encourage science, and there was no school of medicine worthy 
of the name nearer than Boston or Philadelphia. Few young men could 
then afford to go so far to qualify themselves for a profession which 
offered but little pecuniary inducement. Hence the prevailing custom 
was for the young medical aspirant to enter the office of some neighbor- 
ing physician and read for two or three years, at the same time accom- 
panying his tutor in his professional visits and thus learn his methods 
of practice. At the end of this term the young doctor would seek some 
promising vacancy and begin his professional career. 

The legislation then governing the admission and practice of physi- 
cians was so worthless as to be of no effect, but in 1806 the Legislature 
passed an act by which former laws regulating the profession were 
repealed, and at the same time authorized a general State Medical 
Society and County societies. In pursuance of this act, on the first 

' Dungflinson. 

2 William Adams was brother of Robert Adams, the first merchant in Johnstown. 



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MEDICAL SOCIETY LAW. 211 

Tuesday in July, 1806, the Montgomery County Medical Society was 
organized, the first meeting being held at the county seat — Johnstown — 
at which the following physicians were present: Alexander Sheldon, 
Oliver Lathrop, Stephen Reynolds, William H. Devoe, William Reed, 
Benjamin Tucker, Horace Barnum and Abraham Sternbergh. The 
officers chosen were Alexander Sheldon, president ; William Reed, vice- 
president ; Stephen Reynolds, secretary ; and Oliver Lathrop, treasurer. 
At this meeting Alexander Sheldon, Stephen Reynolds and Benjamin 
Tucker were appointed a committee to prepare a code of by-laws for 
the government of the society ; also, " to procure a seal with such device 
as they may think proper." This committee reported to the society at 
a meeting held October 15, 1806, and the organization of the society was 
then completed. At the same time other practitioners of the county were 
admitted to membership, and all signed their names to the constitution 
and by-laws. The new members were Jonathan Eights, Benjamin 
Lyon, Joshua Webster, Daniel Cuck, Jonas Far, Elijah Cheadle, Thomas 
Conklin and Christian Lissure. 

The above mentioned act clothed county medical societies with what 
now seem extraordinary powers. Societies formed under that act had 
full authority and control over the admission of applicants to member- 
ship ; could themselves fix the standard to be attained as a condition of 
admission, and could receive or exclude members at the pleasure of a 
majority. This power was vested in a committee of the society, called 
censors. They were particularly directed to " make diligent enquiry 
into the legal qualifications of all persons practicing physic or surgery 
within this county." In case any person was found practicing without 
the necessary qualifications, it was the duty of the censors to publish 
the name of the delinquent in the papers of the State. At this time 
there was but one established school of medicine, being that now styled 
by the profession as " regular," and by opposing schools as "allopathy." 
It then would have been impossible for a homoeopath, an eclectic, or a 
" root and herb " doctor to obtain admission at that time, while the 
disciples of Christian Science and the Faith Cure might have been 
exorcised for witchcraft had they applied for license. It is due, how- 
ever, to the county medical societies formed in obedience to the new 
law to say that they were productive of great benefit, for they led 



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212 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

to unanimity of action and sentiment in the state society, which drew 
its membership from the county organizations. Hence there was much 
less quackery than at the present day, which prevails, notwithstanding 
the high character and standing of our present medical colleges, and the 
stringency of the laws for the protection of the public as well as that of 
legitimate practitioners. 

Under the old system the members of the county society were re- 
quired " to keep an accurate history of all important and singular cases " 
which came under their treatment, and to report the same, with method 
of treatment, at the next meeting. Candidates for admission to prac- 
tice were required to subscribe the following declaration: "I do sol- 
emnly declare that I will honestly, virtuously and chastely conduct 
myself in the practice of physic and surgery, with the privileges of 
practicing which profession I am now to be invested, and that I will 
with fidelity and honor, do everything in my power for the benefit of 
the sick committed to my charge." 

The Montgomery Countj' Medical Society, prior to the creation of 
Fulton county, held its annual meetings at Johnstown, but the division 
of Montgomery made a separation necessary and this led to the forma- 
tion of the Fulton County Medical Society. The proceedings on this 
occasion are as follows. At a meeting of the Montgomery County So- 
ciety held at Fonda, June 13, 1838, the chief subject of discussion was 
the situation in which the society was placed by reason of the division 
of the county, the result was the withdrawal of those members who 
lived in the towns recently set off, and the formation by them of a new 
society, but at what exact date is not known, for the minutes of the 
early meetings were not preserved. The old record, however, kept by 
the treasurer of the society furnishes us the names of members down to 

the year 1849, as follows: Francis Burdick, James Berry, Black, 

J. F. Blake, William Chambers, C. C. Joslin, William H. Johnson, James 
W. Miller, L. J. Marvin, Samuel Maxwell, W. C. Peake, Daniel Smith, 
J. W. Sleight, Robert Weaver. 

From October, 1849, until January, 1867, the society held no meet- 
ings and therefore became virtually extinct, from the lack of interest dis- 
played by its members. In the last mentioned year, however, a re- 
organization was accomplished and at a meeting of physicians held at the 



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EARLY PHYSICIANS. 213 

office of Dr. Burdick, on January 16, officers were elected as follows : 
President, William H. Johnson ; vice-president, P. R. Sawyer; treasurer, 
Jehiel Lefler ; recording secretary, W. L. Johnson ; corresponding sec- 
letary, Francis Burdick; delegate to state society, Francis Burdick. 
Present members : E. Beach, J. E. Burdick, D. W. Barker, J. F. Blake, 
F. Beebe, E. H. Coon, M. Helen Cullings, I. de Zouche, W. Davis, M. 
F. Drury, J. Edwards, P. R. Furbeck, H. C. Finch, J. A. Hagar, W. L. 
Johnson, A. L. Johnson, J. W. Joslin, C. M. Lefler, D. L. Orton, J. L. 
Phillips, F. W. Shapper, D. V. Still, C. F. Sherman, C. A. Sternberg, T. 
K. Thome, W. C. Wood, T. K. Young. 

SKETCHES OF EARLY PHYSICIANS. 

Dr. Samuel Maxwell. This veteran physician had a stronger hold 
on public confidence than any other practitioner of his day, at least in 
his native county. He was of Scotch descent, and was born in North- 
hampton, and was brought up to hard work. He intended indeed to 
become a stone mason, but while building a bridge he fell and was 
lamed for life. This misfortune led him to begin to study medicine, 
and by teaching during winter he was enabled to complete his course. 
He practiced in Johnstown nearly a half century, and was noted for his 
philanthropy, as well as professional success. One of his sons (Dr. Wil- 
liam H. Maxwell) reached eminence in New York. Dr. Samuel Max- 
well died in 1862, and his memory is still dearly cherished by all who 
knew him. 

Dr. James W. Miller was also a prominent physician of the same time, 
and a few years earlier we meet the name of Dr. Volkert Douw, whose 
widow (the late Mrs. Maria Douw) for so many years kept a store in 
Johnstown. Dr. Reid was another prominent physician of the olden 
time, whose descendants are still living in Johnstown. 

The four Dr. Johnsons. Oran Johnson was engaged in medical prac- 
tice for many years in Johnstown. His son, William Henry Johnson, 
studied with Dr. Maxwell, becoming indeed his partner, the firm being 
Maxwell & Johnson. This co-partnership continued for many years 
and was very successful in the great work of relieving suffering. Dr. 
Johnson survived Dr. Maxwell and continued in practice, his residence 



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214 



HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 



and office being still in possession of the family. He died a few years 
ago and is remembered by a large circle as a genial friend and a pro- 
moter of social improvement as well as a highly valued physician. Two 
of his sons followed their father's profession. One of the number is Dr. 
Samuel M. Johnson, who is now practicing in New York, and the other 
is Dr. William H. Johnson, who is mentioned in the county record. 

John B. Day was born in Williamstown, Mass., September 17, 1784; 
graduated from Williams College in 1804; was licensed to practice in 
1808 by the Albany County Medical Society, and by the Montgomery 
County Society in October, 18 19. He settled in Mayfield, and prac- 
ticed there until his death, Jannary 22, 1842. His first wife, whose 
maiden name was Phila Wells, was born January 10, 1792. They were 
married October 20, 1808, and had ten children. Dr. Day also had 
three children by his second wife, whose maiden name was Bartlett. 

James Berry was born in Mayfield, December 25, 1 809. He read 
medicine with Dr. Mitchell of Northville, and later was a student at the 
College of Physicians and Surgeons at Fairfield, and also at the Medical 
Institute of Albany, but he finished his course at the Castleton Medical 
College (Vermont), from which he graduated in 1835. The next year 
Dr. Berry began practice at Gloversville, but later years found him a 
resident of Mayfield and then of Broadalbin. Later on, in compliance 
with requests from friends he returned to Gloversville where he remained 
until his death, March 8, 1870. 

William C. Peake was born at Delhi (Delaware county), in 1797, and 
acquired a medical education there under the instruction of Dr! Steele. 
In 1834 he came to Kingsboro where he practiced medicine more than 
twenty years, establishing as it was said of him, "a fair reputation for 
skill as a physician, and a character of great moral worth." The last 
year of his life was passed in Johnstown, where he died, September, 
1856. 

Elijah Cheedle is remembered as one of the early physicians of Kings- 
boro, where he located prior to 1800. He was a native of Norwalk, 
Conn., and was born in 1762. He was one of the most prominent phy- 
sicians in Kingsboro and vicinity during the period of his practice. 

Marcus T. Peake was born in Delaware county, N. Y., January 25, 
1825, and read medicine with his elder brother, William C. Peake. 



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EARLY PHYSICIANS. 215 

His early practice was in his native county, but he came to Gloversville 
in 1855, and died there October 13, 1865. 

Francis Burdick was born in the town of Johnstown, N. Y., on the 
i6th of April, 1818, and was the fourth son of Daniel Burdick, and 
Lydia (Dowler) Burdick. He had a fair common school education, 
and commenced the study of medicine under the tuition of Dr. James 
W. Miller. He attended lectures at the Medical School of Fairfield where 
he graduated. He then began practice in Johnstown but was called to 
long distances in the surrounding country. He was an able physician, 
but was chiefly noted for his skill in surgery. 

Robert Weaver was born July 4, 1785, in Rhode Island, whither his 
ancestors had emigrated from England at an early period. His father. 
Captain Langford Weaver, joined the revolutionary forces in 1775, and 
served his country faithfully during the war of independence. Robert's 
early life was one of struggle, like many others in those troublesome 
times which marked the early years of the Republic. The resources of 
the family were very limited, his father having spent his best years in 
the Continental army, for which he received very inadequate compen- 
sation. Robert struggled to secure a preparatory education under 
difficulties, but succeeded. In 1807 he began the study of medicine in 
his native state, where in due time he commenced practice. In 18 12 
he removed to Berlin, Rensselaer county, and practiced there for nine 
years. In 1821 he again removed, seeking a new field in Ephratah, 
where he continued to reside and to practice until his death, March 25, 
1855. He was a charter member of the Fulton County Medical Society. 

William Chambers was born in Galway, Saratoga county, in 1798, and 
died at his residence in Broadalbin, August 26, 1874. His paternal 
ancestors were Scotch, but on the maternal side he was descended from 
old English stock, long settled in Rhode Island. He began his educa- 
tion at a district school, but completed it at a private academy kept by 
Rev. Robert Proudlit, pastor of the Scotch Presbyterian Church in 
Perth. Pastor Proudlit, was ordained and installed over that congrega- 
tion October i, 1804, and remained in service until October 18, 1818, 
when he resigned in order to accept the professorship of Latin and 
Greek in Union College. At this latter date William Chambers though 
only twenty years of age, had not only made commendable progress 



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2i6 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

in technical studies, but had acquired a taste for general literature. H 
early chose medicine as a profession, and completed his professional 
studies in Boston in 1819. He then opened an office in Broadalbin, 
and continued to practice there until liis death, a period of nearly fifty- 
five years. His services covered an extensive territory, as he was es- 
pecially popular with his own nationality (the Scotch), who formed a 
leading element in the population. His genial social nature secured 
him friends wherever he was known, and no friends were truer to him 
than his patients, whose mental and moral maladies were included in 
his treatment. He was an honored member of the county medical 
society, holding the office of president for several successive years 
until his death in 1874. ^ 

The legislature has done much to advance the interests of the medi- 
cal profession, having passed laws regulating practice, and also protect- 
ing regularly qualified physicians, and at the same time placing restric- 
tions upon those who (whatever may be their pretensions) are not 
graduates from recognized medical colleges. This legislation naturally 
called forth some adverse comment, but its benefits, not only to the 
profession but to suffering humanity, were soon apparent. In 1872 a 
law was passed specifying the means by which applicants might be ad- 
mitted to practice " physic and surgery," either by examination before 
a medical society or by having sufficiently attended some recognized 
medical institution. In 1880 the "Registration law" was passed, re- 
quiring all physicians to personally register with the county clerk, 
stating name, place of birth, proposed residence in the county, the in- 
stitution or society by which they were licensed, and the date of such 
license or diploma. A refusal to comply with the requirements of the 
law was deemed a misdemeanor, and with liability to penalty. 

Under this law the physicians of the county, with a few exceptions, 
caused their names to be properly registered, and hence those who failed 
to comply cannot be regarded as qualified practitioners, whatever may 
have been their medical education. By reference to the record 
in the office of the county clerk we find a list of the profession 
since the law has been in effect, and we now add in brief the name, place 
of residence at time of registration, place of birth, date of diploma or 
license, and name of college or society by which the license was granted. 



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REGISTERED PHYSICIANS. 217 

William L. Johnson, of Johnstown ; born in Johnstown ; diploma 
granted December 26, 1865, from Albany Medical College. 

John E. Burdick, Rockwood ; born in Johnstown ; diploma granted 
May 28, 1863, from Albany Medical College. 

Richard H. Cameron, Johnstown ; born in Perth ; diploma granted 
May 22, 1870, from Albany Medical College. Dr. Cameron died a few 
years ago in the midst of a successful practice. 

C. B. Walrad, Johnstown ; born at Sharon Springs ; diploma granted 
March 10, 1871, from Hahnneman Medical College, Philadelphia. 

John Edwards, Gloversville ; born in Ephratah ; diploma granted 
March i, 1869, from College of Physicians and Surgeons of New York. 

William S. Young, Johnstown ; born at Berne, Albany County ; li- 
censed September 3, 1841, from Albany County Medical Society. 

Jehiel Lefler, Johnstown.; born at Tribes Hill ; diploma granted De- 
cember 24, 1864, from Albany Medical College. 

Horatio Craig, West Galway ; born at Greenfield, Saratoga County ; 
diploma granted February i, 1878, from Albany Medical College. 

Darius Stone Orton, Northampton ; born at Fair Haven, Vt, di- 
ploma granted December 24, 1866, from Albany Medical College. 

Edward Hartley Eisenbrey, Gloversville ; born at Montgomery, Pa.; 
diploma granted March 10, 1869, from Hahnneman Medical College, 
Philadelphia. 

Eugene Beach, Gloversville ; born at Greenville, N. Y. ; diploma 
granted June 28, 1866, from Long Island College Hospital, Brooklyn. 

Peter R. Furbeck, Gloversville ; born at Guilderland, Albany County; 
diploma granted June 25, 1865, from Long Island College Hospital, 
Brooklyn, N. Y. 

Lauren M. Allen, Oppenheim ; born Westport, Conn. ; diploma 
granted March 12, 1880, from College of Physicans and Surgeons, New 
York, 

John S. Drake, Mayfield ; born Albany county ; diploma December 
10, i860, from Eclectic Medical College, Philadelphia. 

David N. Barker, Broadalbin ; born Edinburgh, Saratoga county ; 
diploma June 14, 1848, from Castleton Medical College, Vt. 

John K. Thorne, Broadalbin ; born New York ; diploma December 
26, 1 87 1, from Albany Medical College. 

28 



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2i8 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

John Yauney, Ephratah ; born in Fulton county ; diploma June 9, 
1857, from Albany Medical College. 

Isaac de Zouche, Gloversville ; born Dublin, Ireland ; diploma De- 
cember 22, 1869, from Albany Medical College. 

Walter Hayes, Oppenheim ; born in Oppenheim ; diploma January 
18, 1872, from Eclectic Medical College of Pennsylvania. 

Charles M. Lefler, Gloversville ; born at Fayette, Seneca county ; di- 
ploma December 22, 1870, from Albany Medical College. 

Chauncey C. Joslin, Johnstown ; birth-place not given ; license 
granted 1 840 from Schenectady Medical Society. 

Franklin N. Wright, Northville ; born at Adrian, Mich. ; diploma 
December 28, 1875, from Eclectic Medical College of New York. 

David V. Still, Johnstown ; born at Fultonville; diploma March i, 
1876, from Bellevue Hospital Medical College, New York. 

Levi Wood, Ephratah; born in Ephratah; diploma January 7, 1865, 
from Albany Medical College. 

James F. Murray, Gloversville ; born in Ephratah ; diploma Decem- 
ber 26, 1866, from Albany Medical College. 

Thomas Delap Smith, Broadalbin ; born Machias, Maine ; diploma 
August IS, 1867, from Medical School of State of Maine. 

Friend W. Shafer, born Seward, Schoharie county ; diploma June 
25, 1850, from Castleton Medical College, Vt. 

Jerome A. Avery, Northville ; born Norway, Herkimer county ; di- 
ploina October, 1867, from Berkshire Medical College, Mass. 

John F. Blake, Northville; born Greenwich, N. Y. ; license May 23, 
1846, from Fulton County Medical Society. 

William S. Garnsey, Gloversville ; born Saratoga county ; diploma 
March 5, 1880, from Homoeopathic Medical College, New York. 

Ira H. Van Ness, Osborn's Bridge ; born Northampton ; license July 
17, 1876, from Fulton County Medical Society. 

Adam Walrath, Lassellsville ; born at St. Johnsville ; diploma Feb- 
ruary I, 1849, from Albany Medical College. 

William J. Wilcox, Gloversville ; born New York ; diploma Decem- 
ber 22, 1874, from Albany Medical College. 

Nelson Everest, Garoga ; born Garoga; diploma March 2, 1881, from 
Albany Medical College. 



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REGISTERED PHYSICIANS. 219 

Frank Beebe, Johnstown; born at Fonda; diploma March 2, 1881, 
from Albany Medical College. 

James K. Young, Johnstown ; born Berne, N. Y. ; diploma Decem- 
ber 22, 1874, from Albany Medical College. 

Charles Nellis, Johnstown; born at Palatine; diploma March 10 
1 88 1, from Bellevue Hospital Medical College, New York. 

William Clark Wood, Gloversville ; born Lyons, N. Y. ; diploma 
March 3, 1880, from Albany Medical College, and license by Wayne 
County. Medical Society, dated August 28, 1879. 

Henry Clement Finch, Broadalbin ; born Northampton ; license 
March i, 1882, from Albany Medical Society. 

Caroline Parker Chamberlain, Gloversville ; born New York ; diploma 
April 9, 1877, from "The Woman's Homoeopathic Medical College" ; 
New York. 

Sanford V. Kline, Johnstown ; born at Amsterdam ; diploma March 
I, 1882, from the Michigan College of Medicine. 

Otis K. Chamberlain, Gloversville ; born at Chocomet, Pa. ; license 
November 19, 1874, from the Eclectic Medical Society of New York. 

William Davis, Gloversville ; ?<orn Charleston ; diploma March 7, 
1883, from Albany Medical College. 

Theodore E. Taber, Gloversville; born at Utica ; diploma July 25, 

1883, from Medical Department, University of Vermont. 

Charles J. Rattrey, Gloversville ; born Cornwell, Canada ; diploma 
March 31, 1871, from McGill Medical College, Montreal. 

George Rowe, Gloversville ; born at Schoharie ; diploma December 
25, 1865, from Albany Medical College. 

Arthur A. Jones, Gloversville ; born at Cooperstown ; diploma March 
5, 1884, from Albany Medical College. 

Charles R. Blake, Northville ; born Northampton ; diploma June 23, 

1884, from University of Vermont. 

Gilbert Ingalls, Kingsboro ; born Cranberry Creek ; diploma May 26, 
1872, from Long Island College Hospital, Brooklyn. 

Daniel C. Dye, Johnstown; born Rockwood; diploma June 25, 1885, 
from Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Michigan. 

Eugene H. Coons, Mayfield ; born Shultzville, Dutchess county ; di- 
ploma March 4, 1886, from Albany Medical College. 



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220 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

Robert Palmer, Gloversville ; diploma March i6, 1887, from Albany 
Medical College. 

Austin S. Moak, Kingsboro ; born Sharon; diploma June 9, 1886, 
from Bellevue Hospital Medical College, New York. 

Arthur E. Tuck, Gloversville ; born Woburn, Mass. ; diploma March 
8, 1877, from Boston University. 

Charles F. Clowe, Kingsboro ; born Gloversville, Schenectady county ; 
diploma March 15, 1888, from Albany Medical College. 

Alexander L. Johnson, Gloversville ; born Schenectady ; diploma 
March 4, 1885, from Albany Medical College. 

Joseph Raymond, Johnstown ; born England ; diploma May 10, 1888, 
from College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York. 

John S. Phillips, Gloversville ; born Fonda; diploma March 16,1887, 
from Albany Medical College. 

D. D. Drake, Johnstown ; born New Haven ; diploma December 27, 
1864, from Albany Medical College. 

Dennis M. Smith, Johnstown ; born in England ; diploma March 23, 
1888, from Albany Medical College. 

Daniel A. Bissell, Gloversville ; born Peru, Clinton county ; diploma 
February 22, 1883, from Hahnemann Medical College, Chicago. 

William Burbrand Gott, Gloversville ; born East Worcester, N. Y. ; 
diploma March 3, 1884, from Eclectic College of New York. 

Charles G. Briggs, Gloversville ; born Malta, Saratoga county ; di- 
ploma March 21, 1889, from Albany Medical College. 

M. Francis Drury, Broadalbin ; born Mayfield ; diploma March 16, 
1887, from Albany Medical College. 

Amos W. Jennings, Gloversville; born Chautauqua county; diploma 
May 20, 1885, from American Medical College of Cincinnati. 

M. Helen Cullings, Gloversville ; born Duanesburgh ; diploma July 
I, 1886, from Medical Department of University of Michigan. 

Rufus W. Terwilliger, Johnstown ; born Albany ; diploma March, 
1 88 1, from Albany Medical College. 

John W. Parrish, Johnstown; born Albany; diploma May 12, 1887, 
from College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York. 

A. Walker Tryon, Johnstown ; born Durham, N. Y. ; diploma 1862, 
from Medical Department of Columbia College. 



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REGISTERED PHYSICIANS. 221 

Benjamin F. French, Gloversville; born in Ohio; diploma March 6, 
1880, from Hahnemann Medical College, Philadelphia. 

Lafayette Balcom, Gloversville ; born Niagara county ; diploma Feb- 
ruary 16, 1864, from Buffalo Medical University. 

John Quinlan, Johnstown ; born Petersburg, N. Y. ; diploma March 
16, 1888, from Albany Medical College. 

John A. Hagar, Gloversville ; born town of Mohawk; diploma March 
19, 1890, from Albany Medical College. 

Charles F. Sherman, Gloversville; born Corinth; diploma July 12, 

1890, from University of Vermont. 

Merritt F. Lee, born Rochester, N. Y. ; diploma March i, 1883, from 
Eclectic Medical College, New York. 

Sherman S. Kathan, Johnstown ; born Conklingville, Saratoga county ; 
diploma April i, 1891, from Albany Medical College. 

Edward L. Johnson, Gloversville ; born at Richmondville ; diploma 
April I, 1 89 1, from Albany Medical College. 

William G Sprague, Gloversville ; born in Canada ; diploma April 7, 

1 89 1, from Trinity University, Toronto, Canada 

George H. Peters, Bleecker ; born in Bleecker ; diploma April 14, 
1 89 1, from Baltimore College of Physicians and Surgeons. 

John W. Joslin, Johnstown ; born at Hoosick, N. Y. ; diploma April i, 
1 89 1, from Albany Medical College. 

B. Rush Jackson, Johnstown ; born at Berwick, Pa. ; diploma October 
23, 1886, from Philadelphia Eclectic College. 

Andris Simmons, Gloversville ; born in Schoharie county ; diploma 
January 24, 1868, from Pennsylvania University at Philadelphia. 

Frederick A. Mead, Gloversville; born in Gloversville; diploma April 
27, 1892, from Albany Medical College. 

Arthur E. Hagedorn, Gloversville ; born at Hagedorn's Mills ; diplotna 
April 27, 1892, from Albany Medical College. 

Lawrence J. Dailey, Gloversville ; born Plattsburgh ; diploma March 
9, 1892, from Medical Department of University of New York. 



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222 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 



CHAPTER XX. 
TOWN OF JOHNSTOWN. 

A WEALTH of historic lore opens before us as we review the events 
which mark the settlement and development of this ancient town. 
The surrounding region has indeed witnessed the early efforts of a people 
of varied origin, and of widely different customs which they brought from 
their homes in the old world. All the sturdy pioneers who settled the 
country north of the Mohawk have long since passed away, and with 
them has gone the record of many thrilling scenes, which, could they 
be related to the modern reader, would awaken intense interest, and 
would also recall many of the stories with which their parents and 
grandparents often delighted a circle of young but eager listeners. The 
descendants of these intrepid pioneers, some of them now living on the 
original homestead of their ancestors, cannot but feel a patriotic pride 
when these tales of hardship and bravery are revived. What a scene, 
indeed, was presented to those venturesome pioneers whose duty called 
them to enter a vast wilderness and to create homes in a forest which 
had no path but the Indian trail, whence so often the terrific war-whoop 
broke their midnight slumbers ! Personal mention of many of these 
earlier settlers will be found in another portion of this work and there- 
fore we proceed to the more general facts in the historic record. 

All the territory embraced within the town as it was originally 
erected, formed a part of the old town of Caughnawaga. This latter 
town was set apart in compliance with the legislative act passed March 7, 
1788, requiring the division of Montgomery county into towns, in which 
act Caughnawaga was thus described : " All that part of the county of 
Montgomery bounded northerly by the north boundary of this state; 
easterly by the counties of Clinton, Washington and Albany ; southerly 
by the Mohawk river; westerly by a line running from the hill called 
' Anthony's nose,' north to the north bounds of the state, be and here- 
by is erected into a town by the name of Caughnawaga." It will thus 



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TOPOGRAPHY. 



223 



be seen that a vast area of country was included within the ancient 
town, out of which several counties have since then been formed. On 
March 12, 1793, five years after the above date, another subdivision 
was made by which the towns of Amsterdam, Johnstown, Mayfield and 
Broadalbin were erected, but the east and west lines of Johnstown re- 
mained undisturbed. Its western boundary, indeed, was also the west- 
ern boundary of Caughnawaga, being a line running directly north 
from Anthony's Nose, the same boundary now separating the towns of 
Mohawk and Palatine in Montgomery county. The south and north 
boundaries of Johnstown, however, have both been changed at different 
times, the former to create the town of Mohawk, April 4, 1837; the 
latter to create the town of Bleecker, April 4, 1831, and again to form 
a portion of the town of Caroga, April 11, 1842. The northern limits 
of the old town of Caughnawaga were shortened February 16, 1791, 
when upon the erection of Herkimer county, the present northern 
boundary of Fulton county (then Montgomery) was formed. 

The present boundaries of the town are formed by Caroga and 
Bleecker on the north ; Mayfield and Perth on the east ; Mohawk (in 
Montgomery county) on the south ; and Ephratah on the west. It 
contains 45,208^ acres, with an assessed valuation of $3,158,462. 

The surface of the town is variable, affording many landscapes of pic- 
turesque beauty. In the northern part a high range of hills extends 
in a southwesterly direction, and also through the western portion of 
the town. These hills form the central of three high ridges extending 
northeast and southwest through Fulton county, and rising in the north- 
ern part to a height of 800 to 1,200 feet above the Mohawk. The 
principal stream is Cayadutta Creek, which runs in a southwesterly di- 
rection and empties into the Mohawk river at Fonda. This stream 
has a very rapid current, thus affording valuable water power for the 
numerous leather mills located in close vicinity along its course. 

The soil in the northern part is composed largely of sand and sand- 
loam, while south of a line extending nearly east and west, halfway be- 
tween Johnstown village and Gloversville, the sand gives place to clay 
and clayey loam. Hence farming is less profitable in the northern por- 
tion, while the southernpart of the town contains many excellent farms, 
and a portion of the land, indeed, is highly productive. - 



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2 24 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

The town of Johnstown as at present constituted is composed of parts 
of four great patents of land, all famous in the annals of early New York 
history. The first of these was the Stone Arabia Patent, 12,700 acres, 
granted to John Christian Garlock and twenty-six others, October 19, 
1723. The land embraced within this grant extends into what is now 
the southwestern portion of the town. The three other properties were 
Butler's Patent of 4,000 acres, granted to Walter Butler and three 
others, December 31, 173S ; the Sacandaga Patent, 28,000 acres, 
granted to Lendert Gansevoort and others, December 2, 1741 ; and the 
Kingsborough Patent, which consisted of 20,000 acres, covering the 
larger part of the present town, and granted to Arent Stevens and 
others, June 23, 1753. 

From the holders of these grants Sir William Johnson secured large 
tracts of land both prior and subsequent to 1760; thus preparing for 
the settlement of the region in and about Johnstown which took place 
about that date. The fertile lands in the south part of the present town 
offered an inviting prospect to the German and the Scotch emigrants 
v/ho settled there on Sir William's invitation Their occupation of the 
territory must have been as early as 1760, as it is practically conceded 
that there were numerous settlers in the neighborhood of Johnson Hall 
a year or two before that structure was built. It has been said that two 
hundred families of the Scotch Highlanders professing the Roman Cath- 
olic faith were residents of Johnstown at the beginning of the revolu- 
tion. Another element forming an important part of the settlement of 
this region were the Germans and Dutch, many of whom came up from 
the valley of the Mohawk, where large numbers settled as early as 
1 740 To these were added within a short time, and notably soon af- 
ter the close of the revolution, a great number of New England fami- 
lies ; these latter constituting an important factor in the ancestry of 
many of the old families of Fulton county at the present time. The 
Indians, under the guidance and general supervision of Sir William, who 
was ever their patron and counselor, formed no small portion of the 
population of Johnstown in those early days. Sir William followed the 
British custom of leasing the manorial lands and among his early ten- 
ants were Dr. William Adams, Gilbert Tice, inn-keeper; Peter Young, 
miller; WiUiam Phillips, wagon-maker; James Davis, hatter; Peter 



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EARLY SETTLERS. 225 

Yost, tanner; Adrian Van Sickle, Major John Little and Zephaniah 
Bachelor. At the time Sir William moved to the hall in 1761 or 1762, 
there were about one hundred tenants on the adjacent farms. The set- 
tlement of a part of the Kingsboro Patent was made several years later 
by a number of Scotch families, who went thither at the request of Sir 
William, and remaining loyal to the British crown, were compelled to 
leave the country during the revolution. The first permanent settle- 
ment on the site of Kingsboro village (now a part of the city of Glov- 
ersville), was made about 1786, though a few New Englanders had lo- 
cated in the immediate vicinity prior to that date. Among the number 
Nathaniel Burr, grandfather of James H. Burr, of Gloversville, who 
came from Connecticut to Kingsboro about 1784 and reared a family, 
many of whose descendants are now living in the same vicinity and are 
mentioned in various parts of this work. Among other prominent 
names which appear in the records previous to the present century are 
Judson, Mills, Steele, Hosmer, Parsons, Potter, Smith, Case, Green, 
Gillett, Heacock, Leonard, Livingston, and Cheedle and others which 
equally indicate their New England origin. 

The early settlers of the village of Johnstown are mentioned in an- 
other portion of this work, but notice may be here made of the eccentric 
Elias Dawley, who came at an early day (about 1790), from Connecticut. 
He lived between Johnstown and Bennet's corners for many years, and 
is said to have gone unshaved and unwashed and even bareheaded dur- 
ing the war of 1812, as a result of some vow or determination occa- 
sioned by intense political excitement. Charles Rose was another pio- 
neer, who came from Rensselaer county and located on a farm, more 
recently owned by his grandson, S. S. Rose. Barney Vosburg was also 
one of the earliest settlers, locating in the vicinity of Albany Bush, and 
some of his descendants are still living in Johnstown. 

Among the hamlets and smaller villages in various parts of the town 
may be mentioned McEwen's Corners, formally called " Scotch Bush," 
about two miles distant in a westerly direction from Gloversville. 
Nicholas Stoner, whose name is familiar to every reader of early New 
York border tales, was for many years a resident of this place, to which 
he moved from the vicinity of Johnson Hall, where he lived for two 
years after the revolution. After his removal to Scotch Bush, he en- 
29 



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2 26 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

gaged in hunting and trapping through a wide region, penetrating far 
into the wilderness, which then extended over the greater portion of the 
town. The following anecdote of Major Stoner's experience with a bear, 
while living near Johnson Hall, will illustrate at least the unsettled con- 
dition of that day. The bear having made damaging incursions into 
Stoner's fields of ripening corn and wheat, had been sought with loaded 
rifle for several nights with no other result than a shot, which only inflicted 
a slight wound, not serious enough to prevent bruin from returning on 
the following day to resume his depredations in a neighboring orchard. 
The major at once repaired to the spot with his rifle and dog, but his 
first shot failed to cripple the bear, which was about to seek a place of 
refuge by climbing a tree. The dog, however, pulled him down as 
he made the attempt. At which he became so infuriated that he turned 
upon the dog, catching one of the latter's paws between his teeth. In 
the mean time Stoner had been prevented from taking a second .shot by 
accidentally breaking off" the stopper of his powder horn, but finally suc- 
ceeded in reloading just in time to thrust the muzzle of his rifle into the 
bear's throat and the shot that followed was fatal, thus releasing his 
faithful dog, who by this time was suffering excruciating pain. 

McEwen Corners received its present name from the father of J. D. 
and Daniel McEwen, who built a grist-mill there as early as 1816. 
The sons built a skin- mill there in 1847 which is still operated by 
Daniel McEwen. 

Sammonsville. — This village, which is but a short distance from the 
railroad station of the same name on the line of the Fonda, Johnstown 
and Gloversville railroad, is situated near the southern border of Johns- 
town. Its settlement is dated 18 19, in which year Myndert Starin en- 
gaged in business there, and built at different times a hotel, a potash 
factory, a distillery, a flour -mill, also blacksmith and machine shops, and 
gave the place a decidedly business aspect. Starin remained at Sam- 
monsville until 1826, when he removed to what is now Fultonville. His 
industries in Sammonsville were followed in later years by the manu- 
facture of strawboard, vinegar, cider, lumber and cheese boxes. G. H. 
Sholtus, who began business there in 1842, was postmaster for a num- 
ber of years. Among the old family names of the place are those of 
Hillabrandt, Wemple and Martin. The village was named for the Sam- 



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EARLY ROADS. 227 

mons family, who were among the pioneers of Montgomery county, as 
well as among its revolutionary patriots. 

Keek's Centre, a hamlet four and a half miles west of Johnstown vil- 
lage, was made the nucleus of some little business in 1849, when Joseph 
Keck opened a store there, and in 1869 added a strawboard-mill with 
a capacity of one hundred tons per year. He was a grandson of George 
Keck, a soldier of the revolution. 

One of the first grist-mills in the town, after that built at Johnstown 
by Sir William, was the one known as " Hale's Mill," located about two 
miles east of Johnstown. It was built about the year 1795, and its 
proprietor for many years has been James Hale, from whom the mill and 
the adjacent cluster of houses are called " Hale's Mills." 

Perhaps the very first road laid out within the present limits of the 
town was one leading from Johnstown southward, connecting at some 
point on the Mohawk with the highway which skirts that river. Whether 
this road led to Tribes Hill, or whether it was the one now known as 
the " Old Road," a continuation of South William street (Johnstown) is 
not known. There were several very early roads, among them being 
one described in the records (in the county clerk's office) as connecting 
Johnson Hall and Stone Arabia, another led from the house of Gilbert 
Tice, in the village of Johnstown, to the highway which traversed the 
Caughnawaga patent to East Canada creek. The former bears the 
date of August, 1768, and the latter April 2, 1770. In 1772 Sir Will- 
iam Johnson laid out a carriage road fourteen miles in length, leading 
from the hall to Summes House Point,^ where he built a house which 
he called Castle Cumberland. In 1786 the only road between Johns- 
town and Kingsboro was a foot path through the woods, and blazed 
trees served for guide- boards. How strange to think that the forefathers 
of many of Johnstown and Gloversville's present leading citizens were 
limited to this rude method of visiting neighbors or reaching places of 
traffic, and what a change has been wrought by the opening of what is 
now Kingsboro avenue (in the city of Gloversville), which lies directly 
north and south, so that the traveler approaching Kingsboro from the 
south can, on a clear night, see the north star directly in front. Much 

' See chapter XXIII (town of Broadalbin.) 



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2 28 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

of the land on each side of this avenue was owned at an early day by 
the Potter family of Kingsboro. 

During the days of highways and post routes Johnstown was an 
important point on the east and west line, and far the greatest share of 
both traffic and passage was done over the " State Road," which passes 
through the center of the village and forms Main street. Concerning 
this road N. S. Benton, in his history of Herkimer county, says : 

" March 26, 1803, an act was passed authorizing certain great roads 
in this state to be opened and improved, and for that purpose $41,500 
was directed to be raised by lottery. The state road, so called, from 
Johnstown to the Black river country, passing through parts of Man- 
heim and Salisbury, and the towns of Norway and Russia, in this 
county, was laid out and surveyed, and probably opened, by commis- 
sioners appointed by the governor, pursuant to the authority conferred 
by the above act. This road was used a good deal in the early part of 
the present century, when the eastern emigration was flowing towards 
the present counties of Lewis and Jefferson, the western portion of St. 
Lawrence, and the northern parts of Oneida and Herkimer. 
An opinion prevailed at an early day that the northern travel would 
leave the Mohawk Valley at East creek or Little Falls, and turn towards 
the Black river country, but the project of opening and improving a 
road from Little Falls in that direction was never carried into effect. 
The people of Johnstown, Utica, Whitestown and Rome were too much 
alive to their own interests to allow such a project to get the start of 
them. The route from Johnstown through the northern parts of Mont- 
gomery and Herkimer, crossing the East Canada creek at Brockett's 
Bridge, and the West Canada creek at Boon's Bridge near Prospect, 
Oneida county, was much the shortest and the best adapted to emigrant 
travel." 

This road was a very general artery for heavy traffic until the con- 
struction of the Erie canal, which of course afforded easier and cheaper 
transportation, and the state road lost its importance which never will 
return. 

The first stage route was established by Heathcote Johnson in 181 5, 
and was conducted between Johnstown and Fonda's Bush, now Broad- 
albin. A mail route was also in operation about the same time between 



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TOWN OFFICERS. 229 

Johnstown and the " Fish House," on the Sacandaga. This was con- 
ducted by a man named Le Roy. About the years 183 1 or 1832 a 
familiar figure was that of Asa Tiffany, who carried the mail between 
Johnstown and Benton's Corners on an old white horse, and made the 
trip twice a week. In 1839 stage lines had become more general, one 
of which connected Johnstown with Broadalbin on the east, and St. 
Johnsville on the west. Ten years later, in 1849, the plank road lead- 
ing from Johnstown to Gloversville was constructed, the company 
obtaining the charter for thirty years, and at the same time another 
company built a similar road from Johnstown to Fultonville. Both 
roads are still profitably operated, probably being one of a few instances 
where this almost extinct method of road building is maintained at a 
profit. 

The early town records reveal but few events of an interesting char- 
acter, for the population was small and its early movements required no 
historic pen. The town was organized in 1793, and yet no regular book 
of record seems to liave been in service until 1 809, since which time 
minutes of the annual town meetings, together with surveys of certain 
roads and school districts, have been preserved and are in the possession 
of the town clerk. The following list of supervisors and town clerks of 
Johnstown since 1809 has been carefully copied from the above men- 
tioned records. 

Supervisors. — Daniel Cady, 1809-10; Abraham B. Vosburgh, i8ii ; 
John Holland, 1812-13 ; Abraham B. Vosburgh, 1814; Aaron Haring, 
1815; Daniel Paris, 18 16; Aaron Haring, 18 17; John W. Cady, 
1818-22 ; William I. Dodge, 1823 ; Oran Johnson, 1824-25 ; John W. 
Cady, 1826-29; Charles Easton, 1830-32; John Frothingham, 1833- 
34; William T. Sammons, 1835-36; Joseph Cuyler, 1837-38; Duncan 
Robertson, 1839 ; James Mclntyre, 1840 ; Elijah W. Prindle, 1841 ; 
Chester Gilbert, 1842; John Hillabrandt, 1843-44; Elihu Enos, 1845; 
John Frothingham, 1846; William H. Johnson, 1847; Lucius F. Pot- 
ter, 1848; William Rood, 1849; Allen C. Churchill, 1850-52; Pifer 
W. Case, 1853-55; T. W. Miller, 1856; James I. McMartin, 1857; 
Burnet H. Dewey, 1858-60; Thomas R. Briggs, 1861 ; Allen C. 
Churchill, 1862-65; James M. Dudley, 1866-67; Seymour Sexton, 
1868-69; Eli J. Dorn, 1870-71; Seymour Sexton, 1872-73; Burnet 



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230 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

H. Dewey, 1874-75; Frederick M. Young, 1876; James S. Hosmer, 
1877-78; David S. Baird, 1877; Andrew J. Thompson, 1880; George 
C. Potter, 1881; John Ferguson, 1882-83; Alden W. Berry, 1884; 
Oscar L. Everest. 1885 ; Martin L. Schaffer, 1886; James M. Thomp- 
son, 1887; William S. McKie, 1888; James S. Thompson, 1889 and 
part of 1890; Oliver Getman, 1890-91. 

Town Clerks. — Caleb Johnson, 1809-10; William Middleton, 1811 ; 
Aaron Haring. 1812-13 ; John W. Cady, 1814; Abraham Morrell, 
1815; John W. Cady, 1816-17; Tobias A. Stoutenburgh, 1818-20; 
Oran Johnson, 1821-23 ; Volkert C. Douw, 1824-26 ; George Johnson, 
1827-29; Robert Campbell, 1830-32; John McCarthy, 1833-35 ; Rod- 
ney H. Johnson, 1836-37 ; Harvey Young, 1838 ; George Yost, 1839; 
Hiram Yauney, 1840; Daniel C. Holden, 1841 ; David H. Cuyler, 1842; 
Marvin R. Maxwell, 1843 ; Seymour Sexton, 1844; George Henry, 
1845; George M. Haring, 1846; Harvey Young, 1847; Ambrose S. 
Haring, 1848; Charles W. Johnson, 1849; Eleazer C. Ely, 1850; 
Baltus Heagle, 1851 ; Charles W. Johnson, 1852 ; Eraser Mason, 1853 ; 
P. P. Argersinger, 1854; John J. Young, 1855 ; Amos M. Clark, 1856; 
John Kibbe, 1857; J.ohn P. Miller, 1858-59; Michael Hollenbeck, 
i86o; Edward J. Hickey, 1861; George D. Henry, 1862; John J. 
Young, 1863; John D. Houghtailing, 1864; William Burns, 1865; 
William S McKie, 1866-67; William C. Leaton, 1868; George D. 
Henry, 1869; George W. Marby, 1870; George D. Henry, 1871 ; 
William Argersinger, jr., 1872; James Heagle, 1873-74; Janies Y. 
Fulton, 1875-76; Frederick Benton, 1877-78; Lot Ostrom, 1879; 
William Muddle, 1880-83; Thomas Parker, 1884-85 ; Charles S. Por- 
ter, 1887-88; George H. Plantz, 1889-90; F. J. Moore, jr., 1891-92. 

The present officers of the town are as follows : Supervisor, Henry 
W Potter; town clerk, F. J. Moore, jr. ; justices of the peace, Fayette 
E. Moyer, Richard Murray, Daniel R. Stewart and George H. Sholtus ; 
assessors, Daniel Stewart and Tallmadge L. Parsons ; collector, Ralph 
R. Chant. 

THE VILLAGE OF JOHNSTOWN. 

The first name to be mentioned in connection with the history of 
Johnstown is that of Sir William Johnson, founder of the village and its 



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k^ STTu 



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JOHNSON HALL. 231 

benefactor during the last fourteen years of his life. While eleven of 
these fourteen years were passing by, 1763 to 1774, Sir William was 
living at Johnson Hall, which was built during the years 1761 and '62, 
.and is still standing in the northwest corner of the village. The old 
mansion has been remarkably well preserved, and the deep historic in- 
terest with which it is invested seems to increase with each succeeding 
year. There is no doubt that the baronet's prime motive in locating at 
the hall was not only to gratify the desire of his eldest son, Sir John, 
who wished his father to establish a baronial estate of corresponding 
importance with the dignity and rank of his title; but to have a general 
and personal supervision over the settlement of his rich and extensive 
lands, which comprised the country surrounding the present site of the 
village. 

He had been living for twenty years at Mount Johnson (now Fort 
Johnson) and his removal to Johnson Hall cannot be attributed entirely 
to motives of personal aggrandizement as his subsequent deeds of public 
benevolence, and also his untiring efforts for educating and improving 
the condition of his tenants (as well as the inhabitants of the village) 
plainly indicate. 

Located on the farms adjacent to the hall, many of which consisted 
chiefly of dense forest growths, were lOO tenants, including not only 
farmers, but also artisans, such as millers, hatters, tanners, wagon mak- 
ers and also a physician. The names of a few of these have been noted 
on a preceding page, but it is not probable that Johnstown of that day 
bore any resemblance to a village until the erection of the old stone 
church, which was built in the grave- yard at the corner of what is now 
Market and Green streets. Possibly there were not enough houses in 
the place to deserve even the name of a " hamlet " until the erection of 
the court-house in 1772. 

The chief center of information for the entire community in those 
days was Johnson Hall, where the baronet entertained his guests, and 
where his Indian allies were often a conspicuous feature. It was there 
that important councils were often held, and there also Sir William en- 
joyed the sports and games in which the Indians bore part. This led to 
an annual tournament of their native games, together with what were 
widely known as "sport days" at the hall. On these occasions the 



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232 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

yeomanry of the adjoining farms engaged in various amusements of an 
atbletic nature, the contests being stimulated by the offer of prizes, and 
among the comic features were foot races, in which the contestants ran 
with their feet in bags, and also liorse races, in which the riders were 
placed upon the animals with faces reversed. A source of great merri- 
ment was the chase after a well fatted pig, whose exterior was greased, 
and another was the climbing of a greased pole, upon the top of which 
a prize had been fixed. A similar rivalry brought a prize to the per- 
son who could make the ugliest face and could sing the worst song in 
point of melody. 

It will thus be seen that for a number of years the hall was con- 
stantly the scene of Hfe and activity. The building itself, though of wood, 
was of unusual strength, and its size sixty by forty feet in area, and two 
stories high, rendered it unusually spacious. Superior judgment was 
exhibited in selecting a southern exposure, sufficiently near to the 
Cayadutta for supplies from the grist-mill, which Sir William had al- 
ready constructed, and also sufficiently remote from the village to insure 
the dignity of a manorial residence. Occupying a space fifteen feet 
wide through the center of the building was the grand hall, from which 
on each floor opened large and commodious rooms, wainscoted with 
panels and heavy carved work. At each end of the building stood a 
square stone structure, intended for defence, the one on the southeast 
end, however, was chiefly used as the business office of the estate, and 
the other as Sir William's study. These buildings formed a part of the 
fortifications, to which was added, in 1763, a stockade surrounding the 
hall, an attack of the western tribes under Pontiac being then expected. 

The great care exercised by the baronet to increase the beauty and 
comfort of the hall, and its surroundings, shows more conclusively than 
his public deeds, that culture and refinement which formed so large a part 
of his character. His constant desire was for the improvement, not only 
of his own farm, which was worked by ten or fifteen slaves, under an 
overseer named Flood, but of the entire settlement, whose agriculture 
was thus advanced. This led him to obtain superior oats from Con- 
necticut; scions for grafting from Philadelphia; fruit trees from New 
London, and choice seeds from England. His love for horticulture led 
to the formation of a nursery, which, with the garden, occupied a space 



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THE COURT-HOUSE. 233 

south of the Hall, and the latter furnished the baronet's table with the 
best vegetables of that day. Speaking of this famous mansion, ex- 
Governor Seymour once said : " It was from this spot that the agents 
went forth to treat with the Indians of the west, and keep the chain of 
friendship bright. Here came the scout from the forests and lakes of 
the north to tell of any dangerous movement of the enemy. Here were 
written reports to the crown which were to shape the policy of nations ; 
and to this place were sent the orders that called upon the settlers and 
savages to go out upon the war-path." 

Of those who were counted among the guests of Johnson Hall and 
shared its hospitality contemporaneously with members of the Iroquois 
confederacy may be mentioned Lady O'Brien, daughter of the earl of 
Ilchester; Lord Gordon, whom Sir William's son John accompanied to 
England, where the latter was knighted ; also Sir Henry Moore, gov- 
ernor of New York ; Governor Franklin, of New Jersey, and many other 
dignitaries of colonial fame. 

It was customary to hold fairs at Johnstown in those days, under the 
supervision of Sir William, who furnished the premiums from his private 
purse. He was the first to introduce sheep, and also blooded horses 
into the Mohawk valley. Among his staff of assistants and employees 
was a secretary named Lefferty, who was well read in law, arid served 
as surrogate of the county; also, a family physician named Daly, who, 
in addition to his professional duty, was valued as a social companion, 
and often accompanied the baronet on his pleasure excursions. Added 
to these were a butler, a gardener, a tailor, and a blacksmith, the .last 
two having shops across the road from the hall, in order to be of service 
to the public. 

The removal of Sir William from Mount Johnson to the baronial hall 
which he had built at Johnstown, was connected with the organization 
of a new county, which it preceded by ten years, and which was named 
after Sir William Tryon, governor of the colony. It was only natural 
that Johnstown should be selected as the capital or shire town of the 
new county, and accordingly in May, 1772, work was begun on the 
court-house, the sum of ;^i,ooo having been authorized (by the act 
creating the county) to be expended for that purpose, and also for build- 
ing a jail. The bricks for the court-house were imported from Eng- 
30 



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234 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

land,' and reached Albany by boat, being there transferred to wagons, in 
which they were brought to Johnstown. At the time of its construction, 
and for years after, it was the first and only court-house between Albany 
and the Pacific coast. In the tower surmounting the steep roof was 
placed a great iron bar, bent into a triangle, and this odd contrivance has 
served the purpose of a bell for one hundred and twenty years. The 
first court in this ancient structure was held September 8, 1772, with 
Sir Guy Johnson on the bench. This old court-house has been the 
scene of some very thrilling trials, in one of which Aaron Burr and 
Thomas Addis Emmet were both retained. Could the walls of this seat 
of justice only repeat what they have heard, a strange history indeed 
would they unfold. 

An interesting relic still preserved in the court-house is the old Mont- 
gomery county gallows, which is the most ancient thing of its kind in 
existence, and has seen nearly four-score years. Among the executions 
at which it served, was that of Becker, who was hung for murdering his 
wife, and the colored boy "Will," who was hung for arson. The last 
execution in which the old gallows served was that of Moses Lyons, 
who murdered his housekeeper, December 18, 1829. The gallows was 
then placed in the garret of the court house, whence it never has bqf n 
removed. It is built of heavy timber, painted dark yellow with black 
stripes, and worked with a drop after the old fashion, but it always did 
sure work. 

One of the first trials for murder — perhaps the first — was that in 
which John Adam Hartman, a Mohawk valley veteran of the revolu- 
tion, was charged with the killing of an Indian, in 1783, in what is now 
the town and county of Herkimer. Hartman and the Indian had met 
at a tavern, where the latter had boasted of murders and scalpings per- 
formed by him during the war, and exhibited, as alleged by Hartman, 
a tobacco pouch made from the skin of the hand and part of the arm of 
a white child, with the finger nails remaining attached. These revela- 
tions incensed the feelings of Hartman, who concealed his excitement 
for the moment and the two left the tavern to traverse the forest to- 
gether. The red man, however, never returned, and his body, rifle and 

1 This statement has been denied and may perhaps be incorrect. 



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NOTABLE TRIALS. 235 

some baggage he had carried when at the tavern, were found in the 
woods a year later. Hartman was acquitted for lack of legal evidence. 
Another celebrated trial took place here in 1828. An action for 
trespass was brought by Henry Garlock against Henry J. Failing to re- 
cover the value of a negro slave, Jack, whom it was alleged the de- 
fendant had wrongfully and maliciously killed. Garlock possessed a 
deed of the negro in which a consideration of three hundred and fifty 
dollars was expressed, and Failing admitted the killing of the slave, but 
declared it had been done by mistake. The circumstances as brought 
out by the trial indicated that on the night of the alleged crime several 
negroes had engaged in a promiscuous gathering near the river below 
Dutchtown, and when the gathering broke up, which was at a late hour, 
many of them were intoxicated. The slave. Jack, started home with 
one of his companions and passed Failing's house on the way. The 
same night a colored man called at defendant's house saying that he had 
seen a bear a short distance away. Failing took his rifle and accompan- 
ied by his dog, started in pursuit. He discovered the animal silting 
on his haunches about ten rods distant and could see his eyes in' the 
dim starlight, but the dog refused to advance towards it. Failing took 
good aim between the eyes and fired. The result was a terrible groan, 
a struggle and then the figure was perfectly still. An investigation 
with a lighted lamp disclosed the dead body of the unfortunate Jack. 
The negro had taken a keg from a trough where it had been placed to 
soak, and had seated himself upon it in the middle of the road with his 
back toward Failing, and the bright buttons in the rear of his coat had 
been readily mistaken for the eyes of the bear. Both parties retained 
brilliant counsel, and verdict was found for the plaintiff of two hundred 
and fifty dollars. 

A murder case that attracted much attention at the time, was that of 
the People against Frederick Smith, charged with the murder of Ed- 
ward Yost, who conducted a meat market adjoining the bank of Hays & 
Wells, and slept in a bedroom occupying a corner of the bank building. 
On the morning of March 6, 1875, firewas discovered in the bank, and 
the horrible discovery made by a number of the men who forced an en- 
trance to extinguish the flames, was the corpse of Yost, disfigured and 
burned almost beyond recognition, lying on the floor of the bedroom 



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236 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

through which the fire had penetrated. Two bullet wounds were found 
in the murdered man's head, each of which might have caused his death. 
His gold watch valued at one hundred and ninety dollars, a diamond 
pin, and several hundred dollars, known to have been on his person, 
were stolen and circumstances indicated that the perpetrator of the deed 
had set fire to the building in hope of destroying the evidence of his 
crime. Smith had formerly been a partner of Yost, but this connection 
had been dissolved. During their partnership Smith and Yost had 
slept together and even afterwards Smith had occasionally occupied the 
room with his former partner, once, indeed, only two weeks before the 
murder. He was therefore familiar with the premises and suspicion nat- 
urally rested upon him. Smith being called to account admitted hav- 
ing been about the village until one or two o'clock in the morning of 
the crime, but declared his ignorance of the deed. He was placed un- 
der arrest and remained in jail nearly a year before his trial, at which 
through the efforts of able counsel he was acquitted and subsequently 
went to California. Rewards for the perpetrator of the crime amount- 
ing to $6,000 were offered by the sheriff of the county, and the friends 
of the murdered man and Governor Tilden, but no conviction took 
place and the murder of Edward Yost remains among the mysteries of 
crime. 

In closing this review of Johnstown's ancient court-house, it seems 
proper to add a briet extract from the speech delivered by Horatio Sey- 
mour June 26, 1872, at the centennial of the laying of the corner-stone. 
A platform was built in the court-house yard, a portrait of Sir Will- 
iam was hung outside the front wall over which was suspended the 
British flag with this inscription : " One hundred years ago," while on 
the railing near the entrance was a massive iron casting of the British 
coat of arms, imported by Sir William. 

" The edifice and its objects were in strange contrast with the aspect 
of the country. It was pushing the forms and rules of English juris- 
prudence far into the territories of the Indian tribes, and it was one of 
the first steps taken in that march of civilization which has now forced 
its way across the continent. There is a historic interest attached to 
all the classes of men who met at that time. There was the German 
from the Palatinate, who had been driven from his home by the invasion 



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THE JAIL. 237 

of the French, and who had been sent to this country by the ministry 
of Queen Anne ; the Hollander, who could look with pride upon the 
struggles of his country against the powers of Spain and in defence of 
civil and religious liberty ; the stern Iroquois warriors, the conquerors 
of one-half the original territories of our Union, who looked upon the 
ceremonies in their quiet, watchful way. There was also a band of 
Catholic Scotch Highlanders, who had been driven away from their 
native hills by the harsh policy of the British government, which sought 
by such rigor to force the rule of law upon the wild clansmen. There 
were to be seen Brant and Butler, and others whose names to this day 
recall in this valley scenes of cruelty, rapine and bloodshed. The pres- 
ence of Sir William Johnson, with an attendance of Britisli officers and 
soldiers, gave brilliancy to the event, while over all the group, asserting 
the power of the Crown, waved the broad folds of the British flag. The 
aspects of those who then met at this place not only made a clear 
picture of the state of the country, but it came at a point of time in our 
history of intense interest. . . . All in that mingled crowd of sol- 
diers, settlers and savages felt that the future was dark and dangerous. 
They had fought side by side in the deep forests against the French 
and their Indian allies ; now they did not know how soon they would 
meet as foes in deadly conflict." 

The jail was begun in 1772 at the same time with the court-house, 
and was constructed of stone in order to serve as a fort in case of attack. 
Good judgment is shown in the size of its massive walls, and also in 
the selection of the: highest point of' ground for a site, which afforded a 
full view of approaching danger. When finished it was the best build- 
ing in America for defense against all weapons but artillery. Neither 
the jail nor court-house was completed at once, a^d in 1774 the legis- 
lature appropriated ;^i,6oo for this purpose. One year later, October 
26, 177s, theTryon county revolutionary committee inquired of Sir John 
Johnson whether he pretended to a prerogative to the court-house and 
jail, " and would hinder or interrupt the committee to make use of the 
same public houses to our want and service in the common cause." 
Replying, Sir John made claim to both buildings as his property until 
the sum of ^^^700, which Sir William had advanced toward their con- 
struction, should be refunded. The committee respected this claim at 



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238 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

the time, and fitted up a private house as a prison, sending convicts to 
Albany and Hartford. Information was given to Congress, later on, 
that the building had been conveyed to the county by Sir William, and 
that the jail had been used as a fort by the patriots during the revolution, 
being fortified with palisades and block houses. Their respective uses 
were then resumed, and with the exception of slight repairs to the court- 
house and the replacing of the wood-work in the jail, which was de- 
stroyed by fire, both buildings have remained in tact ever since. Until 
1 81 5 the county clerk's office was located in a little building on Market 
street near the Academy. The next one stood for many years at the 
corner of William and Main streets, and was also a small building. The 
present clerk's office was built in 1867. 

Among other steps taken by Sir William for the improvement of the 
village and the comfort of its inhabitants was the erection of a stone 
church larger than the first, details of which are given elsewhere in 
this narrative. Sir William gave evidence of his loyalty in the con- 
struction of this church, by providing a pew for the king at the right 
hand of the pulpit, over which was an elaborate canopy, and the pew 
was kept closed, awaiting the use of the royal dignitary, its vacancy 
being a silent witness for the royal power. On the opposite side of the 
pulpit was another pew for Sir William's use and his successors in the 
manor. Thus were the royal and manorial powers appropriately hon- 
ored in St. John's church. 

Sir William also laid out the village in squares, four streets running 
north and south and four east and west, but did not give them names. 
In the spring of 1760 he was busily engaged in establishing the settle- 
ment, and not long after his removal to Johnson Hall he built six houses 
near the court-house. These dwellings were about thirty feet in front 
by eighteen or twenty deep, one story and a half high, and contained 
two square rooms on a floor. They were painted yellow. 

In 1766 Sir William went to Albany and becamea Mason, together with 
Guy Johnson and Colonel Claus, and during the same year established 
in his own mansion a Masonic lodge, whose history is included in these 
pages. Very soon afterward he established a free school, which stood 
on what is now the southeast corner of Main and William streets, and 
had the distinction of being the first free school in the state. The year 



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DEATH OF SIR WILLIAM JOHNSON. 239 

1 77 1 and the one following were years of marked progress in every 
respect, and Johnstown may be said to have assumed the appearance 
of a village. Sir William indeed says in one of his letters, " settlers 
now flocked in, bought lots and built houses," and another writer states 
that "several new streets were laid out, and gaily painted signs were to 
be seen swinging from the doors of the different tradesmen." About 
eighty families were added to the village during 1771, and the name of 
Johnstown, which is a contraction of Johnson-town, was given to the 
settlement in honor of the baronet. 

During this prosperity a sudden and deeply felt sorrow was cast over 
the village by the death, on the nth day of July, 1774, of Sir William. 
He had long been a sufferer from an aggravated dysentery which at 
times almost caused suffocation. In seeking a cure for this disease he 
had visited Saratoga, where he drank of the now famous High Rock 
spring, a knowledge of its medicinal virtues having been imparted to 
him by the Indians, a band of whom accompanied him to the spot, 
showing their great regard for the baronet by bearing him through the 
wilderness on a litter. Sir William's disease, however, was too compli- 
cated to be susceptible of cure, and hence the benefit received at the 
spring was only temporary. It served, however, as the foundation for 
the wonderful and growing popularity which Saratoga has enjoyed as 
a health resort for many years. On the day of his death the baronet 
had addressed for two hours in a hot sun a party of Iroquois Indians, 
who came from the west with complaints of ill treatment at the hands 
of the Ohio frontiersmen. Various writers have adduced the theory 
that Sir William took his own life, giving as an argument the sudden- 
ness of his death and the prophecy made by himself that he would never 
Uve to see the already threatened war between the colonies and the 
crown. Sir William's correspondence with one of his physicians, how- 
ever, disproves the theory of suicide, and there is certainly very little 
ground for it. 

The funeral which took place on the Wednesday following Sir Wil- 
iam's death, was the most solemn demonstration the colonics had up to 
that time ever witnessed. The clergyman in attendance was Rev. Mr. 
Stewart, missionary at Fort Hunter, and the funeral procession num- 
bered more than 2,000, including colonial dignitaries and 600 Indians, 



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240 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

who were bereaved of a lifelong friend. The pall bearers included Gov. 
Franklin of New Jersey and the judges of the New York Supreme Court. 

The burial took place in a vault erected beneath the floor of St. John's 
church for the family, but Sir William was the only one of the number 
who ever occupied it. On the following day the Indians were granted 
the privilege of performing their own peculiar rites, which they did with 
much solemnity and emotions. The old church was destroyed by fire 
in 1836 and when rebuilt its position was altered so as to leave the vault 
containing the baronet's remains outside the church wall. Prior to 1862 
there had been rumors circulated about Johnstown that either Sir Wil- 
liam's body had never been interred there or that it had been taken up 
and carried to Canada. This led to investigation, and the tomb being 
reopened, all that was left of the body was disinterred and afterward 
buried with honor. A portion of the vault roof had caved in and most 
of the coffin had disappeared. A section of the scull was found, how- 
,ever, with some of the larger bones and a plain gold ring bearing the 
date " June 1739, 16," and supposed to have been Lady Johnson's wed- 
ding ring, worn by the baronet after her death. The bullet which he 
received at the battle of Lake George and which had never been ex- 
tracted, was also found in the vault. Arthur D. Bedford, now living 
in Gloversville, was present at the opening of the vault, and although 
quite a young boy at the time", distinctly remembers having found a 
small piece of the coffin lid, around the edge of which were several 
ancient nails. The tomb was repaired and remodeled and the remains, 
after being sealed in a block of granite, were returned to their resting 
place June 7, 1862, the services being conducted by the Right Rev. 
Bishop Potter of New York. It will be of interest to note that there is 
at present in Johnstown a recently organized society, the purpose of 
which is to raise a fund for the purpose of erecting a suitable monument 
to the baronet. 

Hardly had the confusion resulting from the death of Sir William 
passed away, when the war clouds of the revolution began to darken 
the political horizon, increasing day by day, until at last they burst upon 
the struggling colonists with all the horror of that long and fearful 
conflict. 

After Sir William's death. Sir John occupied the Hall, with the inten- 
tion of retaining the family dignity, but (as has already been related in 



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AT THE CLOSE OF THE REVOLUTION. 241 

these pages) the hostility he bore against the colonists made it neces- 
sary for him to flee to Canada, whence he returned, wreaking hellish 
vengeance on the brave patriots of the Mowhawk Valley, in that raid 
whose memory will forever stamp his name with infamy. The con- 
fiscation of the Johnson estate followed his flight, and thus forever passed 
away the power of that lordly family, leaving only the memory of for- 
mer grandeur. 

The commissioners of confiscation placed Sampson Sammons in charge 
of. the Hall, but the greater part of the furniture was taken to Albany 
and sold at auction. Sir William's papers were likewise taken to Albany 
and came into the possession of the Cooper family, which subsequently 
placed them in the care of the^ state library, where they received careful 
attention, and were printed in the documentary history. 

When the war began Johnstown contained a number of men of local 
prominence including Daniel Claus, John Butler, Gilbert Tice, Robert 
Adams, Hugh Fraser, Bryan Lefferty, Hugh McMonts and William 
Crowley. The first two were well known tories and adherents of Sir 
John ; the last two fought in the battle near the Hall and were killed. 
The population of the village decreased during the revolution, partly by 
the withdrawal of the friends and followers of Sir John, and partly by 
the loss of life caused by war, but when peace was renewed Johnstown 
took on new life and its population was greatly increased by settlers 
from New England. It then included among its inhabitants Zephaniah 
Bachelor, Amaziah Rust, John Little, Thomas Read, Johh B. Wemple, 
John McCarthy, Garret Stadts and John Egan. It was the only place 
of prominence west of Albany, ranking even Schenectady, which was 
due to its frontier position. The names of the streets were given by the 
state commissioners appointed to sell the confiscated lands. In 1787 
the Marquis de Lafayette visited Johnstown, and wrote from there a 
letter to Col. Gansevoort, urging him to take every possible measure 
for the capture of Col. Carleton, who was supposed to be acting the part 
of a spy in the neighborhood. 

In 1784, when the name of Tryon county was changed to Montgom- 
ery, Johnstown acquired additional importance as a promising place for 
enterprise. Thus it was that such men were attracted to the village as 
Richard Dodge, George Henry and his brother, Henry Brevoort Henry, 

31 



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242 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

all of whom came from New York. Dr. Thomas Reed, and Judge Har- 
ing, came from New Jersey ; Daniel Cady and John W. Cady, from 
Florida. An aristocratic foreign element was formed by the families of 
Sadliers, McCarthys, Egans, Philpots, and Rev. Hosack. 

An interesting idea of the appearance of the village in 1790 can be 
gleaned from the following letter written in 1872 by the venerable ex- 
Gov. Enos T. Throop, who was at one time a student in Johnstown 
Academy, and whose boyhood was passed in Kingsboro : 

"The year 1772 was but twelve years before my birth. At six years 
of age I had a perfect knowledge of the town and the people, and my 
memory retains it, with the incidents of that day. Johnstown at that 
day, besides what was then considered the palatial edifice erected by 
Sir William Johnson as his residence, consisted of the Adams house, the 
Reed house, the Rawlins [Rollins ?] house (the tavern), the court-house, 
the jail, the stone church, and a few small dwellings which it is was un- 
derstood were erected by Sir William Johnson, and a few additions to 
them to accommodate the business and domestic comforts of the resi- 
dents who had pitched their tents there." 

Within a short time Rowland Fish came to Johnstown, from Hudson, 
and Daniel Paris, from Herkimer, thus adding to the political and legal 
power of the village. Johnstown was at that time the great center of 
the fur trade of a vast frontier area, and the transactions in this com- 
modity, which included the purchases of John Jacob Astor, were of great 
magnitude. The village was also on the main traveled highway from 
east to west and became celebrated for its unusual number of hotels. 
One of them occupied a position next to the court house and was kept 
in later years by Heathcote Johnson. Another stood where the Dr. 
Francis Burdick dwelling is now located. Another was on the plat oc- 
cupied in recent years by the Dewey residence and one stood on the site 
of the John C. Ferres hardware store. The Jackson House should also 
be mentioned. It stood on the present location of the Fancher block. 
There was also the " Old Yellow Tavern," corner of Main and Market 
streets, and the Union Hall in the eastern part of town. Two other 
taverns occupied opposite corners on Main and Perry streets. These 
hotels caught much of the patronage of travelers en route to the " Black 
River Country," over the state road. 



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EARLY MUNICIPAL ACTS. 243 

Thus Johnstown increased in size and importance and on the first day 
of April, 1808, became an incoporated village. On the sixth day of the 
following December, the first trustees were elected ; five in number, as 
follows : Daniel Cady, Daniel Paris, Daniel Holden, Caleb Johnson, and 
Caleb Grinnell. Joseph Cuyler was appointed clerk and the sum of $150 
was voted for purposes contemplated by the act of incorporation. A 
tax list for the year 1808 shows the assessed valuation of real estate in 
the village to have been $80,000, the tax collected upon which being 
$157 50. Not as much as is paid by many individuals at the present 
day. In 1809 taxable property had increased in valuation to $93,140 ; 
in 1810 it was $103,740; in 1812, $112,720; in 1813, $121,600; in 
1814, $134,550; in 1815, $137,040; and in 18 16, $145,970, showing a 
net gain each year. 

In May, 18 10, it was voted that Caleb J. Grinnell be allowed $2.75 
for finishing the public well, and during the same year the subject of 
supplying the village with water was agitated, and the legislature passed 
an act incorporating a company which laid pump logs in the streets, but 
the enterprise was doomed to failure, and was not successfully revived 
until 1877. 

In 18 1 5 an ordinance was passed directing the sidewalks on certain 
streets in the village to be raised, leveled and paved, thus giving evi- 
dence to the present generation of the interest the forefathers had in 
beautifying their habitations. A general plan of planting shade trees 
at frequent intervals along all of the principal streets was adopted and 
has always been maintained. William street at a point in front of the 
Sir William Johnson Hotel was paved in 18 15, and the short thorough- 
fare connecting William and Market streets known as Church street, 
was laid out and the adjoining land which had formerly belonged to St. 
John's church was divided into building lots. 

Precaution against fire was active in Johnstown as early as 1808, and 
the following names, which include some of those who became mem- 
bers of the fire company on December 7 (of that year), are even now 
remembered by the older citizens. They deserve remembrance indeed, 
having been representative men in their day : Daniel Cady, Nathaniel 
R. Packard, Nicholas Philpot, Caleb J. Grinnell, John G. Murray, Joseph 
Leach, Daniel Holden, Caleb Johnson, Stephen Owen, John Marsh, 



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244 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

David D. Bedford, Tristram Dunham, William Van Voast, Henry 
Conklin, Peter Vosburgh, Elisha Coffin, John Dodge, John Pool, John 
Brower, John Howland, Abraham Morrell, Joseph Cuyler, Rufus Mason, 
David Rust, and a number of others. Among the firemen of Johns- 
town between the years l8iO and 1819 the following names may be 
mentioned : John McLaren, John W. Cady, William I. Dodge, Howland 
Fish, James Lobdell, John McArthur, jr., Peter McKie, Henry Cun- 
ningham, Duncan McLaren, James Campbell, jr., George Wells, Guy 
T. Wells, and Asahel Whitney. A hand engine was procured in 1809. 

In July, 1 8 10, it was voted that a penalty of " five dollars be collected 
from Benjamin Hyde for his room chimney blazing out of the top in 
the night time." 

The ordinances on the subject of fire and precautions against it were 
strict and to the point, as may be seen from the following instances : 

At a meeting of the trustees of the village, held September 15, 1809, 
present, John Yost, Caleb Johnson, Daniel Holden, the following reso- 
lution was adopted : 

" Resolved, That each of the members of this board, in case of fire, 
and when at the place where the fire is, shall wear a white scarf over the 
right shoulder to the left hip as a badge of distinction. By order, 

" J. Cuyler, Clerk." 

It was also ordained in that early day that it should be the duty of 
the freeholders and inhabitants of the village, in case of fire, and when 
at the place where the fire is, to conform themselves to the directions 
of the trustees, in forming themselves into ranks, to convey water to the 
engine. And in no case to do damage to any building or buildings 
but by direction of some one of the trustees, unless none of them should 
be present, under the penalty of two dollars and fifty cents. 

Another ordinance was that it be the duty of all housekeepers in said 
village, in case of fire breaking out in the night, at the cry of fire to 
place lights at the front windows of their respective dwelling-houses. 
Any person neglecting to do the same being fined in the sum of fifty 
cents. It was provided that every owner of a dwelling-house in the 
village should furnish their respective dwelling-houses with good and 
sufficient leather fire buckets containing ten quarts each of water, to be 



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FIRE DEPARTMENT. 



245 



used in case of fire, the number of buckets being regulated by the num- 
ber of fire-places in the house. 

It was probably due to the strict measures taken against fire that 
Johnstown escaped any serious conflagration for many years, the first 
really great fire occurring in July, 1834. It was discovered in an old 
building on the south side of Main street near what was afterward 
Potter's meat market, and extending west, did much damage to prop- 
erty, upon which there was little or no insurance. A later fire swept 
away the remaining buildings on the same side of the street, including 
what is now the Selmser block. In 1836 a fire occurred on the north 
side of Main street, working its way to St. John's Church, which was 
destroyed. The fire apparatus in those days consisted of a hand en- 
gine, a small amount of hose, together with a long sucker to insert into 
wells, for the purpose of filling the water box. Town pumps were 
located, one at the corner of Main and William, the other at the corner 
of Main and Market, and constituted the chief water supply in the 
emergency of fire. Both sides of Main street, between Market and 
William, were destroyed by fire prior to 1840, with the single excep- 
tion of the brick building at the corner of Main and William, owned 
and occupied by Charles O. Cross, which recently shared a similar fate 
and has been replaced by an elegant four-story brick structure. 

The fire department of more recent years has been larger, in accord- 
ance with the growth of the village, and at present consists of three 
hose companies and a hook and ladder company, steam fire engines 
being unnecessary owing to the great pressure attained by the water 
from the village reservoir located at Cold Brook. The fire company's 
apparatus is well protected, part of it being kept in the Decker Hose 
house, on North Perry street, and also part in the corporation building, 
a handsome and commodious brick structure on South William street. 
The following names represent the chiefs of the department since 1878 : 
James D. Scott, A. J. Thompson, Alonzo Philes, William A. Ely, 
Clark Robertson, R. F. Van Nostrand, W. G. Miller, William Board, 
A. J. Thompson (elected several times), and the present chief, Charles 
H. Ball. 

The first merchant in Johnstown was Robert Adams, a man of high 
character, and who, like Sir William, was a native of Ireland. His store 



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246 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

was a large frame building and stood in William street next to the site 
now occupied by the Sir William Johnson hotel. It was burned many 
years ago and among the ruins was a cast iron fire back bearing the 
arms of Great Britain and the figures " 59." It was probably cast in 
1759 and is a very interesting memorial of the past. The property be- 
longed to the late Daniel Edwards and the memorial came into the pos- 
session of his family. John Van Voast, of Schenectady, married Mary 
Letitia, daughter of Robert Adams, and their son, William Johnson Van 
Voast became the leading builder in Johnstown. He erected the acad- 
emy and assisted in building the Presbyterian church. His son, A. 
S. Van Voast, is now one of the oldest residents of the place. In his 
possession are many historical relics, including Sir William's prayer 
book, elegantly illustrated with copper plate engravings, and bearing 
date "London, published by A. Wilde, 1762," indicating that Sir Will- 
iam ordered it for use in the new church which was built soon after- 
ward. Mrs. Abbott, wife of Dr. Abbott, of New York, also has a num- 
ber of relics ofSir William which have descended as heirlooms from her 
ancestors who were among the old families of Johnstown. 

Among the interesting old buildings may be mentioned the one at 
18 and 20 South William street. It was erected by Matthias B. Hild- 
reth, who held the office of attorney-general for two terms, beginning 
in [808, which is no doubt the date of the building. The brick dwell- 
ing in the same street now owned by Dr. Lefler was built by Peter 
Brooks, who also was a member of the bar. He married the sister of 
Capt. George I. Eacker, who shot Alexander Hamilton's eldest son 
(Philip) in a duel in 1802. Eacker was challenged and was really 
driven into the unfortunate affair. The block corner of Main and Will- 
iam, built by Dr. Thomas Reed in 18 1 2 and recently burned, was the 
earliest brick structure erected in the village after the court-house. 
The picturesque Younglove place at the northeast corner of William and 
Montgomery streets, was built early in the century and originally was 
used as a tavern. The oldest house in Johnstown, however, stands next 
to the old burial ground and is owned by the heirs of P. Z. Drumm. It 
was built during Sir William's time and was occupied by a school- 
teacher, who was the first man to exercise that office in the village. A 
structure around which centers much interest is " Union Hall," which 



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A SEHIES OF DISCOURAGEMENTS. 247 

was built before the opening of the present' century by Vauman Fon- 
claire, who was probably one of the French army that assisted in the 
war of independence. Fonclaire kept tavern there, but the building is 
now used as a dwelling. 

Johnstown enjoyed a general prosperity until about the year 1825, at 
which time the opening of the Erie Canal offered a new channel to 
traffic, and the village in consequence suffered a decline. This trying 
period lasted nearly twenty years, during which Johnstown experienced 
" hard times" in their most striking sense. Real estate depreciated in 
value and became almost unsalable ; the lot on the corner of Market and 
Clinton streets extending to Perry street, containing an acre of ground 
being sold to Joseph Farmer in 1835, for three hundred dollars. The 
same property to-day would readily sell for ten thousand dollars. 
Land in other portions of the village was depressed in a corresponding 
degree. Laborers received seventy-five cents per day for toiling from 
sun to sun and mechanics were seldom paid more than one dollar. 
Life, then, indeed, was dull and monotonous as compared with our 
modern ways of living. Ordinary people were compelled to live on the 
plainest food and children went barefooted until frost, often continuing 
this practice until arrived at an advanced youth. 

During this unfortunate period Johnstown received a severe blow in 
the removal from its limits in 1836 of the county offices, depriving it 
of the benefit and distinction of a county seat, a privilege the place had 
enjoyed for sixty-four years. No public matter (except war) has ever 
thrilled the hearts of the people of Johnstown with equal intensity, 
prompting them to a hard, relentless, but unsucessful struggle of more 
than a year. The old records and the seat of justice were finally re- 
moved to Fonda, as already mentioned in a preceding chapter, but in 
1838, upon the division of Montgomery county, and the formation of 
Fulton, Johnstown again became the shire town, and the historic court- 
house was again opened for judicial proceedings. 

The development of the glove industry was the remedy for Johns- 
town's decay, and a most effectual remedy it has proved. Its growth and 
advancement from an insignificant beginning to its present magnitude 
has been fully described in a separate chapter, and it need only be added 
that since the middle of the present century the village has been steadily 



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248 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

on the gain, each year having brought some unmistakable proof of per- 
manent prosperity. The detailed history of its many public, social, 
religious and also its secret organizations, together with sketches of its 
principal manufacturing concerns will be found on subsequent pages. 

The post office in Johnstown was established about the first- of Jan- 
uary, 1795, and Richard Dodge was appointed the first postmaster. 
His successors in the office, with the dates of their appointment are as 
follows: Nathan Brewster, February 9, 1801 ; Rowland Fish, January 
24, 1815; Tobias A. Stoutenburgh, November 22, 1817; Henry B. 
Mathews, October 17, 1838; Charles S. Lobdell, June 14, 1841 ; Henry 
B Mathews, May 28, 1843; Daniel B. Cady, April 9, 1849; Peter J. 
McKinlay, November 5, 1852; James Dunn, June 15, 1853; William 
B. Comrie, May 3, 1861 ; Bradford T. Simmons, November 17, 1868 ; 
Mortimer Wade, November 15, 1883; Michael D. Murray, June 19, 
1888; Andrew J. Thompson, February 14, 1890. 

Schools. — One of Sir William's first steps towards establishing a 
school in Johnstown was an effort on his part to secure the removal to 
the village of the Moor Charity School from Lebanon, Conn., in 1767. 
Four years later he inserted an advertisement in the newspapers of 
New York and Philadelphia for a person "proficient in reading, writing 
and arithmetic," to teach a free school about to be opened by him in 
Johnstown, This resulted in securing a teacher named Wall, who was 
an Irishman and a strict disciplinarian. He " spared not the rod and 
kept the old rule," with the exception of three of the baronet's children 
(by Molly Brant) who, on account of the high position of their distin- 
guished father, «^ere greatly favored and indulged. This school, which 
was an oblong wooden building, painted yellow, stood on the southeast 
corner of Main and William streets. In front of it were the public 
stocks and whipping post. Among the scholars were the children of 
Godfrey Shew, who lived for some time a mile west of the hall, and 
afterwards moved to the vicinity of the Fish house. 

A " list of the scholars at the free school, Johnstown," is given with- 
out date, in the fourth volume of the documentary history of the state 
of New York. It consists of the following names : 

" Richard Young, Peter Young, Hendrick Young, Richard Cotter, 
Hendrick Rynnion, James Mordon, Daniel Cammel, Samuel Davis, 



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THE SCHOOLS. 249 

Reneir Vansiclan, Jacob Veder, Randal McDonald, John Foilyard, Peter 
Rynnion, Peter Potman, Jacob Doran, David Doran, Jeremy Doran, 
Adam McDonald, Abraham Boice, Caleb McCarty, Hendrick Colinger, 
Jacob Servos, John Jervos, John Miller, James McGregar, George Bind- 
er, Christian Rider, Bernard Rider, Simeon Scouten, Francis Bradthau, 
John Everot, Sarah Connor, Leny Rynnion, Betsey Garlick, Baby 
Garlick, Rebecca Vansiclan, Caty Cammel, Caty Garlick, Mary Mcln- 
tyre, Peggy Potman, Eve Waldrofif, Leny Waldroff, Margaret Servos,. 
Catherine Servos." — 45. 

The baronet's school soon became inadequate and an academy was 
required, a project which took definite form in January, 1794, when the 
regents of the university gave it full consideration in compliance with, 
an application signed by the following trustees: Amaziah Rust, Simon 
Hosack, Dederick C. R. Peck, Cruts, Frederick Fisher, Silas Tal- 
bot, Thomas Read, Richard Dodge, Daniel Miles, Daniel Mclntyre, 
George Metcalfe, Lewis Dubois^ David Cady, H. Beach, John C. Vaa 
Epps, John 'McCarthy and Matthew Faifchilds. 

In 179s the legislature granted the land on which the building stands, 
and in the following year it was completed by William Johnson Van 
Voast, builder. Within a short time there was placed in the belfry 
the bell of Queen Anne's chapel, at Fort Hunter, which had been pre- 
sented by that sovereign to call the Mohawks to worship. The acad- 
emy attracted large numbers of students from various parts of the state,. 
and its records, indeed, include many names which afterward attained 
distinction. It held a high position until 1869, when the trustees de- 
clared their office vacant and the institution was adopted as the academic 
department of the union school. William H. Bannister, now the presi- 
dent of Rockland Lake Institute, was one of the principals of this old 
school. 

Under the district school system the village was first divided into 
two districts, one on each side of Market street, that on the west side 
being No. 4, and that on the east. No. 23. The schools were organized 
under the general act of 1869. The school on West Main street was 
built in 1 856 at a cost of $2,500.^ [Among the early teachers there were 
J. Ripley and William S. Snyder, the latter of whom came to Johns- 
town in i860, and is still connected with the schools, having become 

32 



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2 so HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

superintendent in 1870, at which time the village schools were graded 
and put under one head. The Montgomery Street school, which 
stands directly west of the new Union school, was built in i860, at a 
cost of $3,000. It was succeeded in use by a beautiful structure which 
occupied the site of the present Montgomery Street school, and togeth- 
er with a valuable library, containing several thousand volumes, was 
totally destroyed by fire, February i, 1889. It has since been replaced 
by a handsome three story brick school, and a large brick school -house 
has also been erected on North Perry street. 

Mr. Snyder has ably conducted the different departments of the vil- 
lage schools for many years, and his long connection with educational 
matters in Johnstown makes his services almost indispensable. 

St. John's Episcopal Church. — It is generally believed that Episcopal 
services have been held in Johnstown since Sir William Johnson founded 
the settlement in the spring of 1760. No definite statement in any 
record now in existence can be cited to prove this fact, however, and 
the exact date of the holding of the first Episcopal service must there- 
fore remain unknown. It is probable that the first church edifice was 
built during the summer or fall of 1760. It is learned from a record 
taken from the archives of Trinity Church, New York, that Queen Anne's 
chapel, at Fort Hunter, was built in 171 1 on land given by the queen, 
and that the first St. John's church of Johnstown was erected in 1768, 
but other records lead to the supposition that it was at an earlier date. 

There was certainly a house of worship built prior to 1 771, for in 1769 
George Crogan recommended to Sir William, that William Andrews be 
appointed for the mission at Johnstown and also for the church at 
Schenectady. In 1770 Sir William Johnston offered a large tract of 
land to the church at Johnstown, providing they could obtain the king's 
grant, and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign 
Parts granted to St. John's church the sum of £7.^^ for the support of a 
clergyman. Referring to the first church building, which stood on the 
lot occupied by the old cemetery, near the spot now occupied by Messrs. 
Drumm's glove shop, Sir William writes to Rev. Mr. Barton, of New 
York, on the 28th of February, 1771, as follows: "The church being 
small and very ill built," he was " preparing stone and materials for 
erecting one much stronger and larger, that would accommodate near 



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Or.^^/^''^ * 



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ST. JOHN'S CHURCH. 251 

1,000 souls.'' Tlie old church was built of stone, so as to be used as a 
fort in case of danger, and, no doubt, the cellar was intended to render 
it still more available for this purpose. Later on when it was demol- 
ished, the stone was used in building the wall which protected the bury- 
ing-ground. The second church, which was constructed with the ba- 
ronet's "stone and materials," in 1771, stood on the site of the present 
St. John's, but instead of having its entrance at the east, as does the 
present church, it stood with its side to the street and fronted north- 
ward. It is very evident that Sir William intended St. John's church 
yard should extend to Green street, and for this purpose the porch 
fronted north and thus became conspicuous from a great distance.. 

Rev. John Taylor, in the journal of his missionary tour refers to this 
house of worship as " an elegant stone church with organ." The or- 
gan in question must have been the very earliest in the state west of 
Albany. It has been said of this instrument : " It was imposing in size; 
the case of handsome mahogany had by time become beautifully dark 
and rich in color, and its clusters of finely gilt front pipes added the 
beauty of contrast, and the harmony of color. It had but one manuale, 
with perhaps ten registers, but its full sweet, solemn tones, its mellow 
waves of harmony, its jubilant swell of flute like notes, made all the air 
tremulous and vocal with solemn praise." It is known that the organ, 
had a reputation extending far beyond its location. 

To the extensive plat of ground in front of the church. Sir William? 
added a glebe of forty acres in the southeastern part of the village, 
but as no conveyance was made, the whole property became liable to 
confiscation, and St. John's church-yard was cut off by what is now 
Church street. 

In a letter dated May 18, 1772, John Collgrave wrote to Sir William, 
suggesting that several improvements should be made in the affairs of 
the village, as became its importance as a county seat, from which we 
extract as follows : " The first of which is for the immediate finishing of 
the church; for as the church now remains, your Honour and family 
can not have the satisfaction which you otherwise would have, if the 
church was finished, the children, for instance, mix with the aged, for 
the want of a Gallary; — and for the want of seats, many of the Grown 
people are very troublesome — The next thing I consider of the utmost 



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252 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

impdrtance to the General welfare of this Patent, is the Clothing of the 
Poor Children, with something low priced for a suitable uniform, to be 
worn at no other Time but on the Sabbath — This would encourage and 
Command the Childrens attendance, and engage their parents : and 
when Care is taken of the Childrens Cloathes, the expense of Clothing 
them will be inconsiderable, what a pity is it therefore, to see so great, 
and so good a thing as this is not to take place ; when a Boy, to ride 
post from the Hall (who perhaps like too many others live in idleness) 
would more than pay the sum which the before recommended Charity 
will require." The writer closes his letter with an offer of ;^io for 
clothes. 

During the latter part of 1771, and twice afterwards. Rev. William 
Andrews, who had served as rector of the church at Schenectady, either 
because the parish here was more to his liking, or because things were 
not progressing very smoothly among the Dutch people of Schenectady, 
made earnest appeals to Sir William to be allowed to settle in Johns- 
town as rector. It is evident, however, that Sir William was at that 
time expecting a missionary and therefore refused his proposal. In 
1772 Rev. Richard Mosely, having had a hard time with the Puritans 
of New England, was called to the new church at Johnstown as rector. 

He came from Litchfield, Conn., where he had been fined ;£'20 for 
marrying a couple, when he had no other license to act as a clergyman 
" than what he had received from the Bishop of London, whose au- 
thority the court determined did not extend to Connecticut, which was 
a chartered government." Thirty families of dissenters emigrated at 
the same time with Mr. Mosely and settled within fifteen miles of him. 
Upon the arrival of Mosely, Sir William wrote a letter in which he says : 
" Upon this occasion I ought to observe that the missions established at 
40 pounds Ster. p Ann., are found by Experience inadequate to the 
present age. Some of these in the old Settlements, near the Sea, where 
the Circumstances and Inclinations of the People are more favorable, 
may enable a Missionary to live tolerably well, but here where the 
People who are not of the Low Dutch Communion are New Settlers, & 
poor, the contributions are as trifling as they are uncertain ; This has 
occasioned the Revd. Mr. Andrews at Schenectady, to have recourse to 
keeping a school, with which addition to his income, as he writes me he 



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ST. y-OHN'S CHURCH. 253 

is not able to take care of his Family. . . It is aa Extensive and 

most valuable Tract in which the majority of the Settlements and the 
Church of England are in their Infancy, but such an Infancy as affords 
the most flattering hopes If properly nourished and improved for a little 
time." Mr. Mosely was not a strong man physically, and our northern 
climate was too severe for him. In the early part of 1774 he resigned 
the parish, on account of his failing health, and went to England the 
following spring. Writing from New York, April 11, 1774, he ex- 
pressed the warmest gratitude to Sir William, for his " unbounded 
goodness to him " while at Johnstown, and " particularly at his de- 
parture." He was undoubtedly the first clergyman regularly settled at 
Johnstown as rector of St. John's church. The parish at this time 
owned a rectory, in which Mr. Mosely lived. It was built by Sir 
William on the glebe which he had given to the church and was situ- 
ated just west of the site where now stands St. Patrick's church on 
Clinton street. Rev. John Stuart, of Fort Hunter, succeeded Mr. 
Mosely. He was a great friend of Sir William and took charge of the 
services of the church until the war of the revolution. He was quite 
a remarkable man. Born of Presbyterian parentage in Pennsylvania, 
he was educated in Philadelphia and afterward ordained in the church 
and appointed missionary at Fort Hunter. He prepared, with the 
assistance of Brant, a prayer-book in the language of the Mohawks. At 
the breaking out of the revolution he was unjustly accused of disloyalty 
to the American cause, and held a prisoner for two years at Schenectady. 
As soon as he could be exchanged he made his way to Canada, and 
there spent the rest of his days. It is probable that the services held in 
St. John's church by Mr. Stuart in 1776, were the last held in the village 
for many years. It is proper here to observe the great interest taken in 
all things of a religious or educational nature by Sir William. He seems 
to have given special attention to the missionary work of the church in 
the valley of the Mohawk. After he became a baronet, it is believed 
that no work was undertaken by the society for the propagation of the 
gospel, without first consulting and relying upon his judgment and 
liberal assistance. " Busy as his life was in public affairs of greatest 
moment, his correspondence with the society for the propagation of the 
gospel in England and with the clergy here, shows him to have been 
almost equally busy and interested in the concerns of the church." 



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254 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

The glebe of forty acres southeast of the village was surveyed and set 
apart by Sir William some years previous to his death for the support 
of a rector. The church, of course, was a private establishment and 
not a corporation to hold property, and as has been stated, never re- 
ceived a title to this land. Upon the sudden death of Sir William in 
1774 it reverted to his son. Sir John. In the confusion of the revolu- 
tionary period, after the confiscation of the Johnson estate, including 
this property, the Presbyterians occupied both the church and the glebe. 
With the exodus of Sir John Johnson to Canada in 1777, it is evident 
that nearly all the prominent church people went also, and it was not 
until some time after the war that the abandoned church was reopened 
and used by the Presbyterians and Lutherans. In 1793 the legislature 
of the state passed an act which granted the stone church and glebe,, 
during the pleasure of the legislature, to the trustees of the Presbyterian 
congregation, reserving, however, the use of the church for eight Sun- 
days in the year to the Episcopalians and Lutherans, if required by any 
number of them not less than ten. In 1796 there was a sufficient num- 
ber of church people to form an incorporated body, and in that year the 
parish of St. John's was duly incorporated according to the laws of 1784. 

Finally, on March 28, 1797, the vexed 'matter of the property was 
settled by a compromise act of the legislature, which granted the glebe of 
forty acres to the Presbyterians, and the church with the acre of ground 
upon which it stood to the rector, wardens and vestry of St. John's 
church, giving, however, to the Lutherans of the village the use of the 
church edifice four Sundays in each year, and also reserving to the 
Presbyterian congregation the alternate use of the church, together with 
the congregation of the Episcopal society, for and during the term of 
three years. The people of St. John's were never satisfied, however, 
with this adjustment, as it seemed to them unfair to take from them the 
glebe of forty acres, giving no equivalent for it. In 1818 an earnest 
petition was drawn and sent to the legislature, a committee consisting of 
Daniel Paris, Aaron Haring and Abraham Morrell being appointed to 
wait upon the legislature pending its action. April 10, 18 18, the hearts 
of the petitioners were made glad by the passage of an act which 
granted them $2,400, with interest, for the glebe, which sum was paid by 
the treasurer of the state to Daniel Paris in 1821. Although it was in- 



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ST. yOHN'S CHURCH. 255 

tended that this money should be funded so as never to be impaired or 
diminished, yet in 1863 it had dwindled down to $1,200 and in 1871 
the remainder was used in making repairs upon the church. The society 
had an interest in a tract of land at Fort Hunter, which was conveyed 
by the Mohawks to Dr. Barclay ; but, like the real estate at Johnstown, 
it seems to have been captured by other parties for a time, and was onl)' 
recovered in 1797 and 1799 by the aid of Trinity Church, which ten 
years later advanced $400 for repairs to St. John's. The business 
transactions of the church related chiefly to this Fort Hunter land for 
many years, and in 18 19 they asked permission of Trinity to petition 
the legislature to grant them power to sell the farms. The petition was 
granted March 24, 1820, and the farms sold during 1823 and 1824 for 
$4,357.50. Later on the sum was divided between St. Anne's Church 
at Amsterdam and St. John's at Johnstown. 

The church was burned in 1836, the flames catching from an adjacent 
building. Among the relics lost in this fire was the lid of Sir William's 
coffin, which was of dark red cherry and bore the letters marked by 
brass tacks, W. J., and also the date of the death. The question has 
arisen, how could the coffin have been despoiled of its lid ? And it has 
been suggested in reply that perhaps when the interment took place at 
the church the lid was kept as a memorial and another substituted. 
This seems plausible, since the original lid did not leave the church and 
still reminded all who saw it that Sir William rested within the sacred 
enclosure. St. John's was rebuilt with the insurance funds together with 
money collected in the parish and in New York, and the porch was erected 
facing the east. This left the Johnson vault outside the church walls. St. 
John's was built of stone, and for this reason the same material was used 
in its reconstruction, thus retaining its original distinction as "The 
Stone church." The new edifice was consecrated by Bishop Onder- 
donk, October 15, 1837, and remains an endeared landmark to every 
old resident of Johnstown. 

There is a doubt as to what clergyman served as rector of St. John's 
during the closing years of the last century, or indeed if any one held 
that position. Even in 1802 when John Urquahart was rector of the 
parish the congregation was very small. The following list contains the 
names of the different rectors with the dates of their service: 1772-1774, 



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2s6 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

Richard Moseley; 1774-1776, John Stuart; 1 798- 1806, John Urquahart; 
1806-1815, Jonathan Judd ; 1815-1819, Eli Wheeler; 1819-1821, 
Alexander Proal; 1821-1829, Parker Adams; 1 829-1 832, A. C. Tread - 
way; 1832-1835, U. K. Wheeler ; 1 836- 1 839, Joseph Ransom ; 1839- 
1844, Salmon Wheaton; 1 844-1 850, Charles Jones ; 1851-1853, George 
Sleight; 1853-1857, Lewis P. Clover ; 1858-1861, W. H. Williams; 
1861-1864, Charles H. Kellogg; 1 866-1 870, James B. Murray; 1872- 
1875, James W. Stewart; 1875-1884, Charles C. Edmunds; 1884— 
1890, J. Brewster Hubbs ; 1891 to date, John N. Marvin. 

The officers of the church for 1891 are: Rector, John N. Marvin; 
vestrymen, Jonathan Ricketts, James M. Dudley (deceased), Charles 
Prindle, Isaiah Yauney, Jphn W. Uhlinger, John M. Carroll, James I. 
Younglove, and R. J. Evans; wardens, A. S. Van Voast, Thomas E. 
Ricketts; clerk, James I. Younglove; organist, Mrs. Joseph Thyne;. 
sexton, M. N. Carpenter. 

Presbyterian Church of Johnstown. — There is sufficient fragmentary 
evidence existing to show that there were some persons of the Presby- 
terian faith living in Johnstown within a short time after its first settle- 
ment. There is no definite means of knowing whether these were ad- 
herents of the Church of Scotland or the Presbyterian church of the 
colonies, as the organization of a society, which probably took place 
several years subsequent to 1762, was brought about principally by 
missionaries sent out by the synod of New York. The first notice of 
this church in any ecclesiastical record dates from a period subsequent 
to its incorporation. 

As an additional motive to induce settlers to take up land in the vi- 
cinity, Sir William Johnson gave the Lutherans and Calvinists fifty acres- 
of land on which to erect a parsonage if they so desired. As the Pres- 
byterians have always been known as the " Calvinists," it is reasonable 
that this was the denomination designated by the baronet. His per- 
sistent endeavors to Christianize the Indians was a marked characteris- 
tic of his life, and his interest in establishing churches throughout the 
valley of the Mohawk was unceasing. From correspondence between 
Rev. Mr. Chamberlain, a Presbyterian clergyman sent out by the Scots- 
society. Rev. Mr. Brown, an Episcopalian, and Sir William Johnson,, 
dated 1 766, we learn that other clergymen, besides those episcopally- 



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THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. 257 

ordained, had preached the gospel and administered the sacrament at 
Johnstown. The population at that time was of a very mixed char- 
acter and the Episcopal element is spoken of as being small, but 
Sir William is said to have entertained a hope that the whole 
community would eventually become attached to the service of 
the Episcopal church. From 1775 to 1784 this region was con- 
stantly exposed to the incursions of the British loyalists and their allies, 
and little is known of the progress (if any) made in religious affairs. 
The cessation of hostilities, however, and the prospect of peace brought 
a favorable change, and church matters, which had been in a state of 
disorganization during the war, began to assume signs of activity. 

The Presbyterian church of Johnstown was formally organized in 
1785, under an act of incorporation passed by the state legislature the 
previous year. The instrument reads as follows : 

" We, John McArthur, deacon of the Presbyterian congregation of 
•Johnstown, in the county of Montgomery, and Nathan Brewster, elected 
by virtue of the latter part of the 2nd section concerning officers and 
judges of the qualification of the electors, at a meeting of a number of 
male persons who have statedly worshiped with the same Presbyter- 
ian congregation, holden in the meeting house in said Johnstown, on 
the 2ist day of November, 1785, for the purpose of choosing trustees. 
to take care of the temporalities of said congregation, do hereby certi- 
fy, that at the meeting aforesaid, the following persons were elected to- 
serve as trustees for the said congregation by a plurality of voices : 
Zephaniah Bachelor, Robert Adams, Thomas Reed, James McKill, 
Daniel McGregor, Nathan Brewster, Benjamin Grosset, William Grant, 
and John Vechtie; and that the style or name by which the said trus- 
tees and their successors in office are hereafter to be called and known 
is, ' Tlie Presbyterian congregation of Johnstown.' 

" In witness whereof, the returning officers have hereunto set their 
hands and seals at Johnstown, the 21st day of November, 1785. 
" Witnesses, JOHN McArthur, 

" A. CoMRiE, Nathan Brewster. 

"Patrick Forbes. 

"Acknowledged before Zephaniah Bachelor, one of the judges of the 
Inferior Court of Common Pleas, Nov. 22nd, 1785." 
33 



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258 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

The church has in its possession a baptismal register bearing the 
title, "Church Record belonging to the Presbyterian church of Johns- 
town." It opens with the date 1785, and the inscriptions upon its 
pages are continued in the same handwriting until the year 1 790, when 
a call was extended to the Rev. Simon Hosack, who came and assumed 
the duties of pastor. It is not known what clergyman administered 
the rite of baptism during the five preceding years, as several are men- 
tioned in the records as having been appointed to supply vacancies 
west of Albany. 

Until the year 1799 the congregation had no church edifice of their 
own; "the meeting house " in which they had worshiped was not the 
property of Presbyterians or Lutherans, who at that day used it, but 
together with the glebe of forty acres was undoubtedly intended by Sir 
William Johnson for the Episcopal church. In 1778, by authority of 
the provincial congress, the entire estate, including the church and 
property, became vested in the state of New York. In 1784, however, 
the legislature passed an act for the speedy sale of confiscated lands, 
excepting " the parsonage and glebe lands in Johnstown, in the county 
of Montgomery, or any land heretofore belonging to Sir John Johnson, 
in said county, on which any chureh or place of worship is now erected, 
not reserving more than two acres adjoining to such church or place of 
worship." The several religious denominations continued to use the 
church, not, however, without some discord, and in 1793 the legisla- 
ture passed an act that disposed of the question temporarily, by giving 
the property during the pleasure of that body to the Presbyterians, re- 
serving the church edifice, however, on certain Sabbaths during the 
year for the use of the Lutherans and Episcopalians. The act reads as 
follows, and plainly indicates that the legislature recognized the fact 
that the property belonged to the state : 

" Beit enacted by the people of the state of New York, represented 
in the senate and assembly, that all the estate, right, title, interest, 
claim and demand of the people of the state of New York, in and to 
the stone church in the village of Johnstown" (here the location and 
boundaries of the lot are given), " and also in and to all that certain 
tract of land, containing about forty acres, heretofore set apart by the 
late Sir William Johnson for a glebe to the church aforesaid, shall be 



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THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. 259 

and hereby are granted and vested in tlie trustees of the Presbyterian 
congregation in the village of Johnstown, and their successors, for and 
during the pleasure of the legislature, reserving, nevertheless, to the 
Lutherans, in the said town, the use of said church for four Sundays in 
each and every year, that is to say : The first Sunday after Easter 
Sunday, the first after Whitsunday, the last in October, and the last in 
December; and with the like reservation to the Episcopalians in said 
town, or Sundays respectively succeeding those herein mentioned, if re- 
quired by any number of the last named persuasion not less than 
ten." 

Again in 1797 the legislature passed another act, differing somewhat 
in its provisions for the disposal of the property, but still holding that 
the title to the whole belonged to the state. It provided that the stone 
church should be used by the Episcopalians, reserving the right of the 
Lutherans to hold services therein four Sundays in each year, and the 
Presbyterians alternately with the Episcopalians. The glebe of forty- 
acres was granted to the trustees of the Presbyterian congregation. In 
18 1 8, in response to a petition from members of St. John's church, a 
final act act was passed authorizing the comptroller to pay to the vestry 
and wardens of St. John's Episcopal church the sum of $4,200, with in- 
terest, which at that time was considered a fair equivalent for the glebe, 
but long before this the Presbyterians had erected a house of worship, 
for themselves. From this point the history of the two churches sepa- 
rates and follows different and distinct paths. 

Mr. Hosack, who came to the church in 1790, was a young man just 
licensed to preach, and he found a wide field in which to labor, extend- 
ing as it did many miles in every direction. In 1795 a parsonage was 
built for him by the congregation, in which he lived until the time of 
his death. In 1799 the society was strong enough to erect a house of 
worship, which was noticed by Rev. John Taylor rn his journal written 
in 1802, wherein he says of Johnstown, " It contains a Scotch Presby- 
terian congregation which has an elegant meeting-house." When the 
church was completed the membership nuwibered 180, and the names 
of the following elders appear upon the record : William Grant, Jere- 
miah Mason, Daniel McVean, John McArthur, and Daniel Walker ; 
the deacons were John Stewart, Duncan McMartin, James Mitchell and 



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26o HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

Alexander Russell. The custom then prevailed and continued many 
years in this church, of using " tokens," which were carefully distrib- 
uted to the members previous to the communion Sabbath, and collected 
by an elder after they were seated at the table of the Lord. The church 
was very largely composed of Scotch people who brought with them 
many of the customs of their own church. 

During the forty-three years of Pastor Hosack's connection with the 
church, he baptized 1,125 persons, an average of nearly thirty each 
year, and the records show that he baptized as many as sixty persons 
some years. He continued to be sole pastor of the church until his 
death, which occurred in 1833, but his increasing age made itli'ec^sary 
that he have assistance during the latter years of his life, and in 1826, 
Rev. Gilbert Morgan, then a j'oung man, was called as a collegiate 
pastor, and his installation took place in February of that year. He 
remained with the church until October, 1828 During this period 
difficulties arose among some of the members of the congregation on 
account of a change in the manner of conducting the singing, which 
was considered an innovation. These troubles culminated in 1827, 
when a number of the members, who had absented themselves some 
time from the services, seceded from the church and with others formed 
a society which became connected with the Associate Presbyterian 
church. Later on this was consolidated with the Associate Reformed 
church, and now constitutes the United Presbyterian church of Johns- 
own. 

Pastor Hosack was assisted in 1829 by Rev. Mr. Hinman. In Janu- 
ary, 183 1, Rev. Hugh Mair, who had recently arrived in this country 
from Scotland, was called to act as a colleague of the pastor. He came 
and remained as such until 1833, when upon the occasion of the death of 
the venerable Hosack, he became sole pastor of the church. After this 
event Mr. Mair remained with the congregation ten years, and then 
leaving Johnstown for another field, he returned on a visit to his former 
flock and died in the bosom of a hospitable family. Rev. M. N. Mc- 
Laren was the next preacher, but he was never installed. He supplied 
the pulpit for a period of fifteen months. Rev. James Otterson was in- 
stalled in October, 1845, and remained until the year 1852. His suc- 
cessor was Rev. James P. Fisher, who came in July, 1853, and contin- 



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f TIfE LUTHERAN CHURCH. 261 

ued as pastor of the church until June, i860 Rev. Daniel Stewart 
came as stated supply, April 7, 1861, and continued in this relation 
until April 4, 1869. He was followed in July of the last named year by 
Rev. Charles H. Baldwin, who remained until April, 1873. Rev. M. 
E. Dunham was installed in August, 1873, and was followed April 10, 
1881, by the present pastor. Rev. D. McLane Reeves. 

The congregation continued to worship in the old church edifice until 
the 19th of November, 1865, on which day the last public service was 
held in it. As early as 1862 steps had been taken towards the erection 
of a more commodious house of worship, and the present beautiful brick 
structure on South Market street is the result of these efforts. The 
church was finished in 1865 at a cost of $33,000. 

As the records of the church are incomplete it is impossible to give 
a full list of the past elders. Among them were Peter Mclntyre, in 
1817; Henry Pawling, 1819; Archibald McLaren, James Fraser, Mal- 
colm Carmichael, and John D. McArthur, in 1830; David Miller, Peter 
McEwen, Robert Kennedy, and Peter Mix, in 1833 ; James Younglove 
and Jacob Burton, in 1844; Vistus Balch, Belden Case, Philip Yauney, 
and Duncan McGregor, in 1853, and Archibald McFarlan, James D. 
Parker, David D. Selmser, and Horace E. Smith, in 1867. The pres- 
ent elders are: Charles O. Cross, Lucius L. Streeter, William D. Stew- 
art, James Newton, John P. McEwen, H. D. McConkey, Horace E. 
Smith, and Sidney Bedford. The deacons are : Sidney Argersinger, 
James McMartin, Peter McKie Wells, and Henry J. Barrett. The 
trustees are ; Martin Kennedy, Mortimer Wade, John H. Decker, John 
W. Cline, P. P. Argersinger, M. B. Northrup, Richard Evans, and 
William Wooster. 

St. Paul's Lutheran Church. — Among the early settlers of Johns- 
town was a goodly number of Lutherans, or|Evangelical Christians, 
who received the Augsburg Confession as the standard of their faith. 
A few of these may have come hither directly from the land of Luther, 
but the majority were from Schoharie and the settlements along the 
Hudson river. Sir William Johnson, with wise liberality, shortly after 
their settlement, gave his Lutheran neighbors fifty acres of land for 
church purposes, which was known as the " glebe lot." Upon this lot 
a church edifice and school-house were built, both of which were 



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262 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

removed after a few years to other localities. An ancient burial- 
ground which was contiguous to the church alone remains, a reminder 
to the present generation of the spot where their fathers once wor- 
shiped. In 1857 this lot was sold to Mr. John N. Gross, and from 
his hands passed into those of Henry Gross, who devised it upon his 
decease to his son John, the present owner. Prior to the revolution 
religious services were occasionally held by Lutheran clergymen in the 
private homes of their people, upon which occasions they would, in ad- 
dition to preaching the word, administer baptism and the holy com- 
munion. Although a church organization seems to have been effected at 
an earlier date, yet the first instrument of incorporation recorded bears- 
the date of February 4, 1801. The title of the church was at this time 
" The Reformed Protestant German Lutheran Church of the Western 
Allotment of Kingsboro." Jacob Hillabrandt, Adam Plank and Charles 
Roth were chosen trustees. The congregation was then without a pas- 
tor. Since the above named date this church has been thrice reincor- 
porated. First, December 16, 18 10, when its name was changed to 
the " German Lutheran Church of Johnstown." Michael Moore, Peter 
Plantz and Christian Wert were at this date elected trustees. The Rev. 
Peter Wilhelm Domier, a learned divine, was then pastor of this con- 
gregation, which he served in connection with others at Minden, Pala- 
tine, and Stone Arabia. The Lutherans, having no church edifice of 
their own, were granted the privilege of using St. John's church four 
Sundays in a year, of which privilege they availed themselves until they 
erected their first sanctuary in the village during the year 1815-16.- 
The narrative of the building of this first church and of the business 
affairs of the congregation has the smack of primitive times. On the 
2ist of October, 1815, Michael Moore, Michael Swobe, Christian Wert,. 
David Algyre, and Adam Plank, trustees, entered into a contract with 
Peter Fowler, Charles Laughery, and William McDonald, builders, to 
erect a church edifice on the corner of Perry and Green streets. The 
building was to be of wood, fifty feet long by forty wide, and the build- 
ers among other things were to copy the Presbyterian church in the 
item of " Venetian windows," and the Episcopal church as to a steeple. 
They were to receive $3,000 in payment for the building, which was to 
be completed sometime during the year 1816. After its completioa 



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THE LUTHERAN CHURCH. 263 

services were held therein once a month. At this time the members of 
the congregation lived principally in two settlements — the one west of 
town, caHed Johnson's Bush, and the other east of town, called Albany 
Bush Each settlement had its particular part of the church in which 
to worship, the people entering through the western or eastern door, 
according to the bush in which they lived. Equally particular 
were they in apportioning the expenses of the church, the Albany 
Bush people, being the more numerous, paid three-fifths, and those of 
Johnson's Bush two-fifths. 

On Christmas Day, 1821, the society was again reincorpocateJ under 
the title of " The Dutch Lutheran Church of Johnstown." The trustees 
at this time were Michael Moore, David Algyre, and Christian Wert. 

The third reincorporation, at which time its present name was given, 
viz.: "St. Paul's Church, Johnstown, N. Y.," occurred December 11, 
1826. Rev. John Peter Goertner was then pastor, and the following 
officers were chosen : Frederick Plank, Michael Hollenbeck, and Michael 
B. Heagle, trustees ; Michael Moore, Frederick Plank, David Algyre, 
and Michael Swobe, elders ; Baltus Hollenbeck, F"rederick M. Moore, 
John Argersinger, and Abram Neifer, deacons. At a congregational 
meeting held May 10, 1827, a committee previously appointed reported 
a constitution, which was adopted, and by which the church v-fas gov- 
erned for half a century. At this meeting the pastor. Rev. Goertner, 
because of failing health, tendered his resignation, to the great regret 
of a devoted people. He was the first pastor who conducted the wor- 
ship of the sanctuary in the English language, and although his pastor- 
ate was short, yet it was fruitful of great and lasting good. 

Rev. Thomas Lape succeeded the lamented Goertner, and after a 
faithful service of six years resigned and was followed by Rev. David 
Eyster, who remained in charge twenty-one years. During the early 
part of his ministry, which began in the year 1834, St. Matthew's 
Church of West Amsterdam was organized from families belonging to 
this church. For several years after the organization of this latter 
church he continued its pastor, giving it an afternoon service. 

Upon the retirement of Rev. Mr. Eyster the church was without a 
pastor for about a year, when the Rev. J. Z. Senderling assumed the 
■duties of that office, entering thereupon May i, 1856. Shortly after 



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264 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

his settlement the Sunday-school was first organized, with a member- 
ship of twenty-one. The present membership of the school is nearly 
five hundred. John Plantz was its first superintendent, Andrew J. 
Nellis now serving in that capacity. Pastor Senderling remained in 
charge eleven years when he resigned, and Rev. Marcus Kling became 
his successor, whose pastorate was a little less than three years. He 
was succeeded by the present incumbent, Rev. P. Felts, who entered 
upon the duties of his office June i, 1 870. Two years later a fine brick 
church, 56 by 96 feet in area, with a spire 146 feet high, containing 
sittings for nearly 700, and costing $33,000, was consecrated.. It con- 
tains an organ that cost in its present improved condition $4,000, and 
which for eighteen years was skillfully played by W. H. Raymond. 
Upon his decease the congregation was fortunate in securing the serv- 
ices of B. M. Grant, an accomplished musician. The present commu- 
nicant membership of the church is about four hundred. Five worthy 
men have gone forth from this congregation as preachers of the gospel,, 
viz. : David Swobe, John Seimser, James Lefler, and Nicholas and 
Joseph Wirt, of whom all except Nicholas Wirt have gone to their rest 
and reward. 

The present officers of the church are : Trustees, Jacob Molz, Fred 
P. Coughnet, and J. T. Seimser ; treasurer, F. Hanson ; deacons, C. E. 
Schoenfeldt, F. J. Moore, jr., M. L. Hambridge, and John H. Putnam. 

The Methodist Episcopal Church — The exact date of the organiza- 
tion of the first Methodist society in Johnstown will probably never be 
known. Those who participated in the early rehgious worship have 
long since passed away, leaving no names or dates for the guidance of 
the historian. It is evident that a society existed in 1 791, as Freeborn 
Garrettson preached here in June of that year, and in writing from Al- 
bany soon after, he mentioned his " little flock in Johnstown." D.uring 
this visit he secured a lot and engaged men to build a house of worship,, 
which was completed early in the following autumn. It is stated that 
this building stood on the north side of Main street, a few doors east of 
the site of Judge Cady's residence, or what is now the People's Bank, 
and was subsequently sold and the society disbanded. It is learned 
from Spicer's autobiography that Johnstown belonged to a regular cir- 
cuit of the New York Conference in 1814, the territory embracing some 



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THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH. 265 

fourteen towns lying between the Mohawk and Sacandaga rivers. In 
1827 Johnstown formed a part of Montgomery circuit, which had for its 
preachers, John D. Moriarty, J. W. Denison, and John Alley. In 1828 
Pastor Moriarty was stationed at Johnstown and the following year, with 
Merritt Bates, junior preacher, was appointed to the "Johnstown Cir- 
cuit." The present Methodist Episcopal society of Johnstown was or- 
ganized August 31, 1829, at a meeting held in the court-house, and the 
following trustees elected : Abraham Lake, Benj. Burritt, Caleb Wins- 
low, John Bell, Stephen Kilburn. At this meeting Nicholas Garlock and 
Russell Prentice presided and Pastor Bates was chosen secretary. The 
Sunday-school of the church was formed July 13 of the same year, with 
Pastor John D. Moriarty as president, Nicholas Garlock, treasurer, and 
John Bell, Philip Plantz, George Horning, Russell Prentice, Henry 
Brown, Stephen Kilburn and Zebulon Phillips, managers. A church 
edifice was erected the same year, and stood on the site of the present 
parsonage for nearly fifty- nine years. The dedicatory services performed 
at the completion of this building were conducted by Rev. John B. Strat- 
ton, presiding elder. The edifice underwent repairs in 1838, 1852, 1871 
and 1872. Substantial increase of the membership was made during; 
the pastorate of L. S. Walker, 1874—77, and at the end of his term 27O' 
names were on the church roll. It soon became apparent that better 
and larger accommodations were needed, and during the pastorate ot 
William H. Washburne, in 1881, the lot upon which the present church 
edifice stands was purchased at a cost of $4,000. Efforts were made 
upon two occasions to secure by subscription a sufficient sum to build a 
new house of worship; but the petitioners were not rewarded with suc- 
cess until eight months after the third subscription list (started July 5,. 
1886) had been in circulation. At the end of that time $12,000 had 
been pledged. The plans for the new building were made by architect 
Charles C. Nichols, of Albany, and the contract for construction was let 
to Jonah Hess, of Johnstown. The corner-stone was laid July 16, 1887, 
with appropriate services by the presiding elder. Rev. Samuel Meredith, 
addresses being made by Rev. J. H. Coleman, of Gloversville, and Rev. 
W. H. Hughs, of Schenectady. The dedication of the ne\y church took 
place on Wednesday, June 20, 1888, Rev. J. W. Hamilton, of the New 
England Conference, preaching in the morning, and Bishop William 

34 



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266 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

Taylor, of Africa, in the evening. The total cost of the structure, with 
the lot upon which it stands, and the organ, furniture and other ex- 
penditures incident to its construction, was $38,619.51. The Troy 
Annual Conference held its fifty- ninth session in this church, commenc- 
ing April 22, 1891. The present membership is 576. 

The following list comprises the pastors of the church from the begin- 
ning of its present organization : 

Old Johnstown Circuit. — John D. Moriarty and Merritt Bates, 1829— 
30; J. B. Houghtaling and Merritt Bates, 1830-1 ; J. B. Houghtaling 
and Samuel Covel, 183 1-2; Samuel Covel and William D. Stead, 1832- 
3; James QuinJan and John Haslem, 1833—4; Elias Crawford and 
Albert Champlin, 1834—5 > Elias Crawford and Henry L. Starks, 1835- 
6; Dillon Stevens and Peter H. Smith, 1836—7; Dillon Stevens and 
Leonard H. Radley, 1837-8; James H. Taylor and Leonard L. Brad- 
Icy, 1838-9. 

Johnstown and Gloversville Circuit. — James H. Taylor, Thomas B. 
Pii;rson and Wm. Griflfin, 1839—40; Wm. Griffin, Thos. B. Pierson and 
R. T. Wade, 1 840-1 ; Stephen Parks, Albert R. Speer and Myron 
White, 1841-2. 

Johnstown and N. Amsterdam. — Albert R. 'Speer, 1842-3 ; Peter M. 
Hitchcock, 1843-4. 

Johnstown Station. — P. M. Hitchcock, 1844-5; Benj. Pomeroy, 1845— 
7; Hiram Chase, 1847-8; James Quinlan, 1848-9; William F. Hurd, 
[849-51 ; William R. Brown, 1851-2; Robert R. Thompson, 1852-4; 
H. C. H. Dudley (part year), 1854; Tobias Spicer and Wm. Tisdale 
(each part year), 1855; Merritt B. Mead, 1856-8; Henry T. Johns, 
£858-9; Robert Patterson, 1859-60; William H. Meeker, 1860-2 ; 
Lorenzo Marshall, 1862-4; N. G. Spaulding and J. G. Perkins (each 
part of year). 1864-5; Isaac C. Fenton, 1865-7; Henry L. Starks, 
1867-70; Aaron D. Heaxt, 1 870-2 ; William Clark, 1872-4; Leonard 
S.Walker, 1 874-7 ; Thomas C. Potter, 1877-80; W. H. Washburne, 
1880-3; Lorenzo Marshall, 1883-6; James H. Brown, 1886-91; W. 
H. Washburne, 1891. 

The present officers of the church are: Rev. H. Graham, presiding 
elder; W. H. Washburne, pastor; Fred G. Baker, C. S. Wemple, F. 
-Meyer, D. H. Van Heusen, and M. Argersinger, trustees ; Fred. G. 



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2HE BAPTIST CHURCH. 



267 



Baker, recording steward ; W. Dawes, P. Farmer, S. Beekman, C. Hodg- 
son, J. K. Young, J. C. Richards, W. S. Argersinger, W. E. Werner, 
G. R. Smithj John Jackson, H. M. Sutliff, and S. L. Peters, stewards ; 
Robert R. Sands, Sunday-school superintendent. 

The Baptist Church of Johnstown. — Little is known of the early Bap- 
tists in Johnstown. There were a few of that denomination living in 
or near the village as early as 1795, and some of them held prayer 
meetings at the house of a Mr. Hardy, an Englishman, who lived on 
Williams street, and also at the house of a member of the Methodist 
church named Brewster, opposite the Dutch Reformed meeting-house. 
Beginning about 1803, Elders Finch, Throop and Lathrop preached at 
Johnstown in the Methodist church, but later on most of the Baptists 
in the vicinity moved north to Kingsboro, and it is said that in 1819 
Mrs. Lydia Wells was the only Baptist in the village. From that time 
forward, however, their number began to increase, occasional services 
were held and several attempts made to establish a church. Amoncr 
those who preached at these early meetings were Elders Isaac West- 
cott, J. I. Whitman and David Corwin, but it appears that their efforts 
to organize a society were unsuccessful. 

In September, 1842, Rev. Lewis Raymond, of Cooperstown, began 
a series of meetings in Johnstown, the result of which was the organiz- 
ation of a church society on the 3d of November, following. On that 
day a council consisting of delegates from the Baptist churches in Am- 
sterdam, Gloversville, Pleasant Valley and Broadalbin, met in tlie 
court-house in Johnstown and formally organized a Baptist church. 
The chairman of this meeting was Elder David Corwin and the clerk 
Elder L. O. Lovell. The church was organized with about sixty mem- 
bers, eleven others being baptized and received two days later. J. H. 
Murray and Abel S. Leaton were chosen church clerk and treasurer 
respectively, and on the second succeeding Sabbath a Sunday-school 
was organized. During the last two months of the year 1842 the con- 
gregation was under the spiritual charge of Rev. Mr. Joslyn. The 
church was regularly received into the Saratoga Baptist Association at 
its annual meeting held in Gloversville, January 4th, 1843. On Janu- 
ary 2Sth, of the same year, Rev. John Duncan began his pastorate 
with the church, and on the 2 1st of the following February the first 



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268 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

deacons were elected — Williams, Potter, Hedden, and Lcaton. Eldei 
Duncan terminated his services with the society in June, 1843, and al- 
though meetings were held, and different pastors occupied the pulpit 
for a few weeks at a time, an unfortunate dissension took place in the 
society, which resulted in its disbanding in February, 1854, and the 
church building, purchased in 1851, was placed in the hands of the 
Saratoga Association. Ten years elapsed before another successful at- 
tempt was made to bring the Baptists of Johnstown together in har- 
monious organization. This was finally accomplished by Rev. Mr. 
Fisher, who went to Johnstown in October, 1864, and held meetings 
which drew together moderately large congregations. The church was 
reorganized in June, 1865, Mr. Fisher continuing as its pastor, and as a 
result of his zealous labors the society received an impetus that was 
substantially felt for many years. When Mr. Fisher closed his pastor- 
ate in March, 1869, the church had a membership of 109. His suc- 
cessor was Rev. W. H. Hawley, who began his services in June, 1869, 
and remained with the congregation until June 13, 1873, during 
which time eighty persons were baptized and the society greatly 
strengthened. Rev. A, J. Allen came to the pastorate January 2d, 
1874, and continued his labors until the spring of 1876. On the 15th 
of the following October, Rev. Roland D. Grant became pastor and re- 
mained until November, 1878. Some slight dissensions arose during 
his pastorate, but otherwise it was very successful. He was followed 
by Rev. T. Simpkins, who began his labors with the church April i, 
1889, and during a period of nearly eight years served the congrega- 
tion acceptably. During this time a substantial organization was ef- 
fected and many improvements introduced into the manner of conduct- 
ing the various affairs of the church. A new brick edifice was built on 
Main street and the membership was considerably increased. Mr. 
Simpkins resigned his pastorate January i, 1886. 

The present minister. Rev. Cyrus H. Merrill, began his work April 
I, 1886, and is consequently in the seventh year of his pastorate. 
During this time 225 persons have united with the church and 151 
have been baptized. The total membership is now 330 and the Sun- 
day-school has 350 scholars. 

An evidence of the present prosperous condition of the society is the 
fact that they have in process of erection a handsome brick church at 



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THE UNITED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. 269 

the corner of Green and Williams street, which, when finished, will ac- 
commodate about 900 persons. 

The present officers are: Deacons, Abel R. Vibbard, Charles M. Put- 
man and Herbert Allen ; trustees, E. Bradt, John W. Hagadorn, L. B. 
Hawley, Frank Torrey, Byron Chase and C. M. Putman ; superinten- 
dent of Sunday-school, W. H. Alexander; assistant, Fenton I. Grilly; 
secretary, William R, Snyder ; librarian and treasurer, A. R. Kinne. 

The United Presbyterian Church of Johnstown. — The original mem- 
of this society were from Scotland, or of Scotch descent. The church 
was organized in March, 1828, in connection with the denomination 
known at that time as the Associate Church of North America. In 
1858 this body united with the Associate Reformed Church, and thus 
established the present United Presbyterian Church. 

The original members were Daniel Walker, John McNab, John D. 
Walker, Gilbert Walker, John Walker, Duncan Campbell, Peter McKie, 
Peter Stewart, David Walker, Robert Kirkpatrick, Elizabeth Walker, 
Margaret McNab, Catherine Walker, Jane Walker, Margaret Walker, 
Catherine Campbell, Girsel McKie, Jane Stewart, Isabel Walker, and 
Catherine McNab. 

The first elders were, John McNab and John D. Walker. The suc- 
cessive pastors have been: Rev. J. G. Smart, 1 830- 1837; Rev. A. 
Gordon, 1 844-1 845 ; Rev. A. Thomas, 1858-1863; Rev. J. A. Will- 
iamson, 1864 to the present time. 

The first church edifice was a frame building built in 1830, on South 
Market street. It was afterwards sold and remodeled into a glove fac- 
tory. The present handsome brick structure on North Market street 
was erected in 1869, and is one of Johnstown's most imposing church 
edifices. 

The present officers are : Pastor, Rev. J. A. Williamson ; elders, John 
McNab, D. B. Calderwood, and Alexander Walker; trustees, John Mc- 
Nab, Alexander Walker, Leonard Argersinger, W. F. Young, and L. 
A. Van Antwerp ; superintendent of Sunday-school, J. M. Dougall. 

St. Patrick's Parish, Johnstown. — In the year 1773, a number of Ro- 
man Catholic Scotch Highlanders, 200 of whom were of an age to bear 
arms, settled at Johnstown at the request of Sir William Johnson. 
They were spiritually attended by the Rev. John McKenna, an Irish 



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270 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

priest educated at Lorain University. He was the first resident Roman 
Catholic priest in this state after the Jesuit missionaries among the Mo- 
hawks nearly a century before. 

Comparatively strangers in the country, and only speaking the Gae- 
lic language, these Highlanders knew little of the points on which the 
colonists l^'ased their complaints against the English government. At 
the beginning of the revolution they found themselves denounced as 
papists and tories. Though ready to draw their claymores once more 
against their traditional enemy and avenge the defeat of Culloden, they 
were disarmed by General Schuyler and began to abandon their new 
homes. Before the spring of 1776 the priest, more obnoxious than his 
flock, withdrew with a company o( 300 to Glengarry, Ontario, Canada.. 

In 1790 the Rev. Charles Whelan came to Johnstown. He had been 
chaplain in the French navy on De Grasse's fleet until the end of the 
revolution, and subsequently established the first Roman Catholic 
church in New York city. During the first half of the present century 
the few Roman Catholics in and about Johnstown were visited at in- 
tervals by priests from Utica, Albany, and New York and more rarely 
by the bishop of New York. 

In 1850 Johnstown became an established mission and was attended 
successively by Rev. James O'Sullivan, Jonathan Furlong, J. P. Fitz- 
patrick, Eugene Carroll, M. E. Clarke and Philip Keveny. 1869 the 
mission was made a separate parish and Rev. B. McManus appointed 
pastor. In the same year the present church edifice, located on the 
glebe, was built. Rev. J. F. Lowery was apppointed pastor in 1876;. 
Rev. P. B. McNulty in 1878, and the present pastor, Rev. P. H. Mc- 
Dermott, in 1884. 

There are at present in the parish more than 200 families. The lay 
trustees of the church are John Doran, treasurer, and John Manion, sec- 
retary. 

The original parish has been divided, and there are now in Fulton 
county five Roman Catholic churches, located at Johnstown, Glovers- 
ville, Broadalbin, Middlesprite and Bleecker, respectively. 

The Old Burying- Ground. — One of the most interesting, and yet 
most solemn, places of historical interest in and about Johnstown is the 
ancient burial-ground at the corner of Green and Market streets. In. 



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THE CEMETERY ASSOCIATION. 271 

this enclosure stood the first church ever erected within the present 
bounds of Fulton county, and in the church-yard which surrounded it 
were buried the dead for more than a century. Before the village had 
extended toward the westward to its present limits this burying-ground 
commanded a magnificent view stretching for a mile or more in the di- 
rection of Johnson Hall, and the old church that stood near its western 
end must have been conspicuous from a great distance. When this 
church was demolished it is probable that the stone was used to con- 
struct a fence around the cemetery. No burials have been made there 
in many years, and the towering elms which skirt the sacred enclosure 
bear silent witness to the antiquity of the spot. Inscribed upon the 
time and weather-worn monuments can be seen the names of many 
who have figured in the past history of Johnstown and its vicinity, and 
whose posterity still hold dear to memory. 

The Johnstown Cemetery Association. — The rapidity with which the 
old burying-ground was being filled made it necessary in 1849 for the 
people of the village to take steps toward providing a new and larger 
cemetery. For this purpose a meeting was held October 4, 1849, at 
which were present among others John Frothingham, William H. John- 
son, Daniel Stewart, George Henry, Elijah W. Prindle, Peter McKie, 
John H. Gross, William Dorn, William Rood, John McLaren, jr., Ed- 
ward Wells, and John Wells. As a result of this meeting the Johns- 
town Cemetery Association was organized, with the following trustees 
and officers : President, Elijah W. Prindle ; vice-president, Peter McKie ; 
secretary, John McLaren, jr. ; treasurer, John Wells ; trustees, the men 
above mentioned with the addition of John H. Gross, Marcellus Gilbert, 
and John Frothingham, On November 26, 1849, the association pur- 
chased fifteen acres of land from Duncan McLaren and Elias Prindle, 
for which $1,220 was paid, and in 1852 more land was added, being- 
purchased from Eleazer Wells for $200. On June 30, i860, between 
six and ten acres were purchased from E. W. Prindle at the rate of $150 
per acre, and on July i, 1875, another addition was purchased from 
him, the price paid being $3,500. A more picturesque location for a 
cemetery can scarcely be imagined. Gracefully winding around its 
western and northern boundaries is the Cayadutta creek, crossed at the 
main entrance on Perry street by a handsome bridge. The ground 



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i-jz HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

from the creek rises gradually toward the east, and its natural features 
have been tastefully improved by the landscape gardener's art. 

The first burial in the cemetery was that of Peter McKie, its first vice- 
president, and was made November 28, 1849. The several presidents 
of the association and the dates of their election to that office have been 
as follows: Elijah W. Prindle, October 4, 1849; Marcellus Gilbert,^ 
December i, 1855 ; Daniel Edwards, October 7, 1857 ; E. W. Prindle, 
October i, 1861 ; Burnett H. Dewey, September 16, 1875 ; James 
Younglove, February 2, 1886. The present officers are: President, 
James Younglove ; vice-president, Martin Kennedy ; treasurer, William 
S. McKie; secretary, Charles O. Gross; trustees, James Younglove, 
Martin Kennedy, William S. McKie, Charles O. Gross, WiUiam S. 
Northrup, John W. Cline, and James P. Argersinger. 

Johnstown Historical Society. — Probably no village in New York 
state affords a more promising field for historical research than Johns- 
town. The ground upon which the village is built and the surrounding 
territory for a score of miles or more is rich in historic lore and was the 
scene of memorable events long before other more populous communities 
of the present day had an existence. The organization of a historical 
society in Johnstown is therefore to be commended, and the names of 
those connected with the effort are a guaranty that nothing will be left 
undone that can bring to light those early and important events, many 
of which have fallen into comparative obscurity through the lapse of 
time and the frailty of human memory. The Historical Society was 
organized May 30, 1892, a day on which the whole country is called 
once a year to honor the memory of the heroes who fought and died for 
the cause of union and liberty. The officers of the society are as fol- 
lows: President, Horace E. Smith; vice-presidents, James I. Young- 
love, Capt. Edgar S. Dudley, and S. Elmore Burton ; treasurer, Donald 
Eraser ; corresponding secretary, Fred L. Carroll ; recording secretary, 
Philip Keck ; librarian. Rev. John N. Marvin ; trustees, A. S. Van 
Voast, Rev. Peter Felts, Andrew J. Nellis, John G. Ferres, Fenton I. 
Gidley, John T. Selmser, and William A. Livingston. Temporary- 
rooms have been engaged and fitted up on the third floor of the Rick- 
etts building. 

The Johnstown Water Works. — The introduction of a system of pure 
and wholesome water into Johnstown, was brought about, as has been 



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THE WATER WORKS. 273 

the case in many other instances, by the occurrence of a number of dis- 
astrous fires, against which the village had no adequate means of pro- 
tection. The destruction wrought by these conflagrations induced the 
board of trustees, early in the summer of 1877, ^'^ make some provision 
against a recurrence of the evil. To this end public meetings were 
held, at which the citizens freely expressed their views on the subject 
of water supply, and it soon became apparent that a large majority of 
those who favored an expenditure to obtain water for fire purposes, 
also favored the introduction of pure water for sanitary and domestic 
uses. 

Pursuant to that conclusion a board of water commissioners was or- 
ganized on July 6, 1877, under the provisions of the law of 1875, com- 
monly known as "The Water Act." This board was composed of the 
following men : James L. Northrup, Levi Stephenson, James F. Mason, 
Jonah Hess, and Jacob P. Miller. Mr. Northrup was made president of 
the board ; Mr. Mason, secretary ; Mr. Miller, treasurer ; and James H. 
Pike appointed superintendent. Preliminary surveys and estimate of 
the cost of the water works were made, upon the plan of a gravity sys- 
tem, having Cold brook, a stream about four miles distant from the vil- 
lage, and having an elevation above it of four hundred feet, for its source- 
of supply. It was estimated that an expenditure of $61,000 would be 
necessary, which amount was $400 in excess of that authorized by the 
water act to be raised for the purpose. The board, however, believing 
that the work could be let within the amount available, decided to ask 
for the authority to bond the village according to the provisions of the 
act. That authority was finally conferred by a vote of the citizens and. 
tax payers of the village, taken at a meeting held for the purpose on the 
18th day of October, 1877. 

The contract for building the work was awarded to Messrs. Donald- 
son & Geer, for $50,518, being the price settled upon after making 
changes in the specifications. Bonds were issued upon the credit of the 
village, to the amount of $60,500, bearing interest at the rate of six per 
cent, per annum, payable annually on the first day of Ju^y, running 
twenty, twenty- five and thirty years — interest and principal payable at 
the Metropolitan National Bank, in the city of New York. These bonds 
were placed in the city of Boston, at a premium of one-half per cent, or 
35 



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374 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

an aggregate premium of $302.50. The bonds were held by the com- 
missioners and deHvered in installments, as the proceeds were needed, 
giving them the additional amount in accrued interest of $496.61, or an 
aggregate from $60,500 in bonds of $61,299.1 1. 

The work was begun in March, 1878, and was completed and condi- 
tionally accepted on the 5th of October, of the same year. The princi- 
pal source of supply was taken from Cold brook, which flows from 
nearly the center of a series of timbered sand hills, which serve as a stor- 
age reservoir for the annual rain falls, and through which the water is 
filtered to the stream, trickling in at its sides with remarkable uniform- 
ity throughout the year, and in limpid, crystal purity. The water dur- 
ing the heat of midsummer maintains a temperature of fifty- two degrees 
Fahrenheit, and never falls below forty degrees in the coldest winter 
weather. 

A timber dam was thrown across Cold brook about 1 500 feet below 
the point where the stream first appears in the ravine. An eight inch 
iron conduit was constructed from this dam 3,600 feet to the brow of 
the Clift's hill, where it was reduced to a six inch pipe running 700 feet 
down the hill to a distributing reservoir, under a head of 151 feet. The 
latter reservoir was constructed- by throwing a dam or embankment 
across the base of an oval or egg-shaped ravine, giving a storage capac- 
ity of 12,000,000 gallons. At the upper end of this distributing reser- 
voir the Warren brook supply of upwards of 350,000 gallons daily, was 
connected by a twelve inch cast iron conduit, running from the Warren 
brook, 515 feet on a level to the reservoir. 

A gate- house of corrugated iron was built directly above an inlet 
chamber of masonry, resting upon a timber foundation, and was sup- 
plied with screen, valves, and stand pipe. Through this inlet the water 
from the distributing reservoir passes into the main conduit of ten inch 
cast iron piping which runs from the tower 19,377.5 f^et to and through 
the village. When constructed the water was distributed in the village 
through 6,809.8 feet of eight inch pipe ; 12,816.2 feet of six inch pipe, 
-ind 4,554.7 feet of four inch pipe. Since that time the street mains 
have been extended many thousand feet, a description of which will be 
given later on. 

The elevation of Cold brook at the dam, is 433 feet above the 



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THE WATER WORKS. 275 

lowest point of distribution in the village. The flow line of the dis- 
tributing reservoir is 15 i feet below Cold brook at the dam. 

The first application for water was dated October 7, 1878. Up to 
and including December 31, the mains had been tapped and water in- 
troduced upon seventy- eight applications. No charge was made for 
the use of water until January i, 1879, when, with the view of mak- 
ing the annual collections from water rents close concurrently with the 
fiscal year, the first water rent was made to cover the period of four 
months, ending with the 30th of April, 1879. From this collection, be- 
ing for one-third of a year,, the amount received was $229.12 ; making 
the annual average receipt from the first seventy-eight applications, a 
fraction over $11.50 each. The actual cost of the works up to April 
30, 1879, was $59,806.11, and the total disbursements up to that date, 
outside of the cost of the work was $7,620.88 making the aggregate 
disbursement from the treasury, $68,426.99. Owing to the fact that 
the village did not purchase the land surrounding the Cold brook, at 
the time of constructing the reservoir, they placed themselves liable to 
action for damages from the parties owning the lands adjoining the 
stream. Such an action was brought against the village during the 
year 1881, by James H. Coughnet, who petitioned for an injunction re- 
straining the village from the diversion or further use of the water of 
Cold brook. After full investigation and consideration by the water 
commissioners it was decided to make an effort to adjust the damages 
due the several persons interested, but in consequence of the exorbi- 
tant demands of these parties, no satisfactory agreement could be 
reached. The water commissioners thereupon petitioned the court for 
a commission to appraise the damage the village should pay for such 
diversion and use of the water of Cold brook and also for the value of 
the land adjoining. This was believed to be the wisest action that 
could be taken to protect the interests of the village. The court ap- 
pointed a commission, which organized in December, 1880, and after 
making an examination of the premises and hearing the evidence from 
the parties interested, made, in April, 1881, the award of damage;-, 
which was duly approved by the court. The total amount of this dam- 
age to land and water was placed at $5,08469, which was paid with 
interest by the village in 1882. 



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276 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

Extensions of street mains have been made from year to year, as fol- 
lows, the dates given indicating the end of each fiscal year: 1883, seven 
hundred and thirty feet; 1884, on Cady street, from Glebe to Fon 
Claire; on Glebe street, from Montgomery to Prospect; on Hoosic 
street, from Montgomery to Fon Claire and on Market, from Washing- 
ton to Fulton ; 1885, six thousand seven hundred and twenty-nine feet; 
1886, three thousand four hundred and seventy-seven feet; 1887, two 
thousand five hundred and thirty feet; 1888, three thousand five hun- 
dred and twenty feet; 1889, three thousand four hundred and fifty 
feet ; 1890, seven thousand five hundred and twenty-one feet; 1891, six 
thousand seven hundred and thirty-seven feet; 1892, one thousand six 
hundred and fifty feet. 

In August, 1883, the village employed S. E. Babcock, a hydraulic 
engineer, to make surveys and examinations of the old conduit and dam 
at Cold brook, which resulted in the discovery that a large quantity of 
■of water was leaking around and under the dam and running down the 
old channel of the stream, instead of flowing through the cast iron con- 
duit Hne to the distributing reservoir. To remedy this defect Mr. Bab- 
cock proposed the building of a new stone dam a short below the tim- 
ber one, and replacing the iron conduit with twelve inch vitrified salt 
glazed pipe capable of discharging over i,ooo,000 gallons per diem, and 
laid to grades all below a hydraulic grade line. He also submitted an 
engineer's estimate of the cost of the work, the amount being $7,067. 
This was accepted by the water commissioners, September 7, 1883, 
and Mr. Babcock at once organized a force and began the work within 
five days after entering into the contract, completing the entire under- 
taking on the first day of November, 1883. The new conduit, by ac- 
tual measurement, was found to discharge 550,000 gallons per diem, at 
a very dry time, soon after its completion, and when the waters of Cold 
brook were not above their low water stage. Thus the village of Johns- 
town, at an expenditure of a little more than seven thousand dollars, 
doubled its water supply and saved from going to waste nearly 225,000 
gallons of pure water per day. 

The successive presidents of the board of water commissioners since 
its organization have been as follows : James L. Northrup, 1877-78; 
John G. Ferres, 1879-80; George A. Streeter, 1881-82; Jonah Hess, 



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THE HORSE RAILROAD. 



*77 



1883-85; Daniel W. Campbell, 1886-88; John M. Dougall, 1889; 
Oliver Getman, 1890-92. 

James H. Pike was the first superintendent of the works and held the 
position two years, being succeeded by G. D. Henry, who also remained 
in the position two years. The present superintendent, J. J. Buchanan, 
assumed the duties of that office in 1884. 

The present board of water commissioners consists of Oliver Getman, 
Archibald McMartin, C. M. Rowell and Marvin Bronk. Mr. Bronk is 
secretary and Mr. Rowell treasurer. 

The Johnstown, Gloversville and Kingsboro Horse Railroad Company 
was organized in the fall of 1873, and numbered among its early 
directors the following named persons : Daniel B. Judson, H. L. Burr, 
Jonathan Wooster, Ira Lee, C. G. Alvord, Richard Fancher, C. E. Ar- 
gersinger, J. Mc Laren, Isaac V. Place, F. M. Young, John V. King, N. 
H. Decker, William Argersinger, James Younglove, D. C. Livingston, 
J. J. Hanson, A. D. Simmons, and others. A number of these handed 
in their resignation shortly after the company was organized, among 
them H. L. Burr, who had served as vice-president, and who was suc- 
ceeded in that office by Jonathan Wooster. Daniel B. Judson was 
elected president, and J. McLaren, secretary and treasurer. A line of 
horse railroad had been constructed from Gloversville to Kingsboro, 
and proved an unsuccessful enterprise, and subsequently an attempt was 
made by the Johnstown, Gloversville, and Kingsboro Company to pur- 
chase the track and equipment of the former road, but without success. 
The tracks between Fulton street and Kingsboro, were afterwards aban- 
doned or removed, as the road did but little business. That portion of 
the road extending north on Main street from Pine to Fulton, however, 
was leased by the J., G. and K. company, whose road from Johnstown to 
Gloversville was completed in the latter part of 1874. On April i, 
1875, the road was leased to N. H. Decker, of Johnstown, for a term of 
five years. This lease was canceled March 13, 1878, and the road was 
again delivered into the hands of the company. July i, 1878, the lease 
was renewed for five years, with the privilege of five years more. This 
contract continued until November 5, 1885, when the road was again 
restored to the company, by Mrs. M. E. Decker, into whose possession 
it had come upon the death of her husband, N. H. Decker. On Decem- 



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278 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 



1 



ber 15, 1885, it was leased to StoUer & Van Sickler, who operated it 
five years. On December 15, 1890, a sale of considerable of the stock 
was made to stockholders of the Fonda, Johnstown and Gloversville 
Railroad, which gave them a controlling interest, and since that time 
the road has been operated under, their direction. The following com- 
prises a list of the officers: President, W. S. Northrup ; vice-president, 
Lewis Veghte ; treasurer, H. W. Potter ; superintendent and secretary,. 
Lawton Caten ; directors, David A. Wells, Lewis Veghte, W. S. North- 
rup, Jonathan Ricketts, Martin Kennedy, Henry W. Potter, James 
Younglove, John McNab, Charles W. Judson, Lawton Caten, W. J. 
Heacock, Frank Burton, William Littauer. The tracks are now being 
taken up and replaced with new ones with the view of making electric- 
ity the motive power. 

The Johnstown Electric Light and Power Company was organized 
March 14, 1887, and incorporated the following day with a capital of 
$20,000. The first officers were: President, Jacob P. Miller; secretary, 
John G. Ferres ; treasurer, James H. Cross. A contract was obtained 
for lighting the streets of Gloversville, and the work of stringing wires 
was immediately begun. The dynamos were placed for a few months 
in the mill of John Q. Adams, where the power of his engine was util- 
ized. 

On October 18, 1887, the capital stock was increased to $100,000, 
and the company at once began tie construction of a permanent plant. 
It is located at Cayadutta Fall.«fi^out two miles southwest of the vil- 
lage, where a fall of seventy-five feet is obtained, furnishing motive 
power to four pair of brass turbine wheels, twelve inches in diameter,, 
with horizontal shafts. These wheels have a combined capacity equal 
to 520 horse power. They are the invention of Mr. Lesner, of Sam- 
monsville, and were manufactured by William B. Wemple's Sons, of 
Fultonville, N. Y. Their motion is governed and kept at any desired 
speed by an electric water wheel governor, invented by F. E. Pritchard,. 
and made at Cedar Falls, Iowa. In addition to these, the company has 
a 200 horse power Corliss engine and two boilers of I GO horse power 
each, which are held in reserve. 

In the plant are located seven Thompson & Houston constant current 
dynamos, with a capacity of 305 arc lamps ; two Westinghouse alter- 



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THE PEOPLE'S BANK. 



279 



nating current dynamos with a capacity of 1,000 sixteen candle power 
lamps, and the company has in use at present 222 miles of wire. The 
volume of business done at Johnstown and Gioversville is nearly the 
same. The present officers are: President, Andrew J. Nellis; treasurer, 
Richard Evans ; secretary and superintendent, James H. Cross ; direc- 
tors, James P. Argersinger, Jacob P. Miller, Robert J. Evans, John G. 
Ferres, Richard Evans, Jason A. Miller, James I. Younglove, Andrew 
J. Nellis, and James H. Cross. The company's offices are located at 
No. 3 Church street, Johnstown. 

The People's Bank of Johnstown is virtually the continuation, through 
a succession of well remembered financial firms, of the old Montgomery 
County Bank. There are but few men living in Fulton county to-day 
who can distinctly remember the inception of Johnstown's first bank, 
which was established in 1831, Daniel Potter, of Kingsboro, who had 
become rich by merchandise, being its first president. Nathan P. Wells 
another successful business man, was made cashier, and his son, Edward 
teller. This bank gave Johnstown high financial distinction and was 
the monetary nucleus for a large share of the surrounding country. 
On the death of N. P. Wells, Edward became cashier, and eventually 
his son, Nathan P., conducted the banking business in the same build- 
ing. It will be of interest to note that Edward Wells, the present 
cashier of the People's Bank, is a great-grandson of the first cashier 
of the old bank — a remarkable succession in financial service. 
The Montgomery County Bank was succeeded by N. P. Wells & 
Company, and they in turn by Hayes & Wells. The latter firm was 
subsequently followed by David Hayes alone, and he by the First 
National Bank, which was incorporated April 15, 1879, with a capital 
of $100,000 and the following officers: President, John Stewart; vice- 
president, John S. Ireland ; cashier, Howland Fish ; teller, Edward Wells, 
This bank continued to do business until January 16, 1889. On the 
following day the People's Bank opened its doors, having been organ- 
ized in December preceding. The bank was incorporated with a capi- 
tal of $125,000 and the following officers: President, Jacob P. Miller; 
vice-president, John S. Ireland; cashier, Edward Wells; assistant cash- 
ier, Elisha B. Knox ; directors, J. P. Argersinger, John S. Ireland, 
Arch. McMartin, James I. Younglove, Robert J. Evans, Chas. O. 



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28o HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

Cross, Jacob P. Miller, J. C. Northrup, Oliver Getman, Martin Kennedy, 
Jonathan Ricketts, John F. Cahill, John H. Decker, Lewis Veghte, 
Levi Yauney. 

The bank occupies an imposing brick structure at the corner of Main 
and Market streets and has been exceptionally a successful institution. 
The present officers are as follows : President, Jacob P. Miller ; vice- 
president, James P. Argersinger; cashier, Edward Wells; teller, William 
H. Young ; directors, James P. Argersinger, David A. Wells, Archibald 
McMartin, James L Younglove, Robert J. Evans, Charles O. Cross, 
Jacob P. Miller, M. B. Northrup, Oliver Getman, Martin Kennedy, 
Jonathan Ricketts, John F. Cahill, John H. Decker, Lewis Veghte, and 
William E. Wooster. 

The condition of the bank in December, 1891, is shown by the fol- 
lowing quarterly report : 

RESOURCES. 

Loans and Discounts, less due from Directors $508,582 69 

Due from Directors . 46,255 08 $554,837 77 

Overdrafts as per schedule 4 36 

Due from Trust Companies, State and National Banks, as per schedule. . 158,640 01 

Banking House and Lot, as per schedule 31,904 09 

Stocks and Bonds, as per schedule 5,650 00 

Specie 4,034 20 

U. S. Legal Tender Notes and Circulating Notes of National Banks. . . . 21,602 CO 

Cash Items, viz : Bills and Checks for the next day's exchanges 1,331 83 

Loss and expenses, viz ■ 

Current Expenses $60 01 

Interest Account 398 78 458 79 

Furniture and Fixtures 3 306 74 

$781,769. 79 
LIABILITIES. 

Capital Stock, paid in, in cash $125,000 QO 

Surplus fund 25,000 00 

Undivided Profits, viz.: 

Discount $5,048 43 

Exchange 161 19 

Interest 537 86 

Other Profits 6,150 14 11,907 62 

Due Depositors as follows, viz: 

Deposits subject to Ch'k $352,391 62 

Demand Certificates of Deposit 266,617 45 619,009 07 

Due Trust Companies, State and National Banks, as per schedule 818 10 

Unpaid Dividends 38 00- 



$781,769 79- 



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THE JOHNSTOWN BANK. 281 

The Johnstown Bank. — This institution succeeded to the bankin<r 
firm of Mclntyre & McLaren, which was composed of Donald Mclntyre 
and John McLaren, who began business in the fall of 187 1, and con- 
tinued the same until 18/9. On April 30 of the last named year 
the Johnstown bank was organized with a capital of $50,000 and the 
following officers : President, Donald Mclntyre; vice-president, John 
W. Cline ; cashier, John McLaren ; assistant cashier and teller, A. B. 
Pomeroy ; directors, Donald Mclntyre, John McLaren, George A. 
Streeter, Webster Wagner, John W. Cline, C. E. Argersinger, Burnet 
H. Dewey, William S. Northrup, John C. Hutchinson, Eli Pierson, Eii 
J. Dorn. The capital was increased from the surplus, March 3, 1888, 
to $100,000 and has since remained unchanged. 

Donald Mclntyre retained the position of president of this bank until 
August 2, 1881, at which time he tendered his resignation and re- 
moved to Michigan. John W. Cline was immediately elected in his 
place and has since held the presidency. The bank does a general 
American and foreign exchange business and makes a specialty of col- 
lections for banks and individuals, also issuing interest bearing certifi- 
cates. Special deposit books are issued on sums of one dollar and 
upwards, on which a liberal rate of interest is avowed. The institution 
has a clear record and its standing has never suffered during financial 
panics. 

The present officers are: President, John W. Cline; vice-president,. 
W. S. Northrup; cashier, William McKie ; directors, John W. Cline, 
W. S. Northrup, John G. Ferres, W. L. Johnson, William B. Van Vliet, 
Borden D. Smith, George A. Streeter, Eli J. Dorn, Zalmon Gilbert, 
D. H. Van Heusen, M. F. Pierson, Isaac Morris, and M. L. Hambridge. 

The following statetnent, issued March 18, 1892, will show the con- 
dition of the bank at that time : 

RESOURCES. 

Loans $569,551 56- 

Stocks and Bonds .- 1,500 Oa 

Cash 17,907 14 

Due from Banks 24,345 02 

Real Estate and Fixtures 11,700 00' 

Exchanges 58 47 



§625,062 IS' 
36 



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282 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

LIABILITIES. 

Capital, '. $100,000 00 

Profits 67,458 45 

Deposits 457,378 74 

Dividends Unpaid 225 00 

$625,062 19 

The Fulton County Savings Bank, of Johnstown, was organized in 
February, 1892, with the following officers, all of which still continue 
in their respective positions : President, David A, Wells ; first vice-pres- 
ident, John H. Decker ; second vice-president, David H. Van Heusen ; 
secretary and treasurer, Edward Wells ; trustees, Martin Kennedy, 
James McMartin, James I. Younglove, Philetus P. Argersinger, Cor- 
nelius M. Rowell, William S. Snyder, Matthias Grewen, George H. 
Keck, Thomas E. Ricketts, Henry W. Thorne, John H. Decker, David 
A. Wells, Patrick H. McDermott, David H. Van Heusen, Oliver Get- 
man, William T. Briggs, and Edward Wells. 

The office and repository are located in the People's Bank building. 

The Fulton County Democrat is the outcome of three previous publi- 
cations, the first of which was the Northern Banner, a paper which 
made its first appearance at Union Mills, a village in the town of Broad- 
albin. It was published by John Clark, but was removed to Johns- 
town after a few months, and the name was altered to the Northern 
Banner and Mo7itgomery Democrat. In 1837 this name was changed 
to The Montgomery Republican, and soon after the entire plant was 
sold to William S. Hawley, who, in 1842, named the paper The Fulton 
County Democrat, a title that has been retained to the present day. For 
a time it was in the possession of A. T. Norton ; but in 1842, it passed 
into the hands of Walter N. Clark, who conducted it until his death in 
October, 1877, when his son, Walter N., became proprietor. In 1878 
the paper was sold by Mr. Clark to Walter B. Mathewson, who con- 
ducted it until December 23, 1883, when it passed into the hands of 
George F. Beakley, who still remains its editor and publisher. The 
Democrat has now reached its fiftieth year, having been established in 
1842, and in rounding out the half century its publishers are awaken- 
ing new interest among those who look for reminiscences of early days 
in Fulton county. On March i, 1890, Mr. Beakley began the publi- 
cation of The Daily Democrat, which with the weekly has grown to be 
a strong factor in the politics of the state. 



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NEWSPAPERS. 283 

On June 13, 1892, Fay Shaul, the proprietor of \h& Evening News 
entered into a copartnership with the proprietor of The Democrat and 
both establishments have been consolidated. Mr. Beakley is a native of 
Schoharie county, and a graduate of Union College. He was admitted 
to the bar in 1878, but has preferred theifluties of an editor to those of 
a lawyer. * 

The Johnstown Daily Republican is a representative four page, eight 
column paper, published and edited by Albert E. Blunck. It is the 
official paper of Fulton county and of the village of Johnstown. The 
daily edition was begun July i, 1890, by the present proprietor and 
publisher, who has been connected with the paper as owner, first in 
part and then entirely, since 188 1. The Fulton County Republican, Sl. 
weekly newspaper, is issued from the same office. It was considered a 
hazardous undertaking to establish a daily paper in Johnstown, espe- 
cially at the low price of one cent, and Mr. Blunck was counseled by 
many experienced newspaper men not to attempt such an enterprise, 
but having strong faith in his own convictions the trial was made and 
the result has far exceeded his most sanguine expectations. The daily 
at the present time indeed has a circulation which renders its suecess. 
absolutely certain. 

The Fulton County Republican was originally published at Johnstown^ 
in 1838 by Darius Wells. In 1840 Alexander U. Wells became pro- 
prietor, and in 1842 he sold it to George Henry, who was a Henry Clay 
Whig, and who conducted it as an organ of that party, afterwards join- 
ing the Republican ranks. His son, George D. Henry, who took 
charge of it in 185 i, continued the publication until about 1864 when it 
was discontinued. The paper was revived in 1870 by George M. 
Thompson, who continued it, in connection with The Gloversville In- 
telligencer, a paper purchased by him in 1868. He subsequently sold 
the plant to Capron & Ward. In April, 1881, Mr. Blunck, the present 
proprietor, purchased a half interest in the two papers and they were 
published by the firm of Ward & Blunck until about August, 1 881, when 
William E. Leaning, of Cooperstown, purchased the interest of H. L. 
Ward. The firm of Blunck & Leaning continued the two publications 
until October, 1887, when the firm dissolved, Mr. Blunck continuing Tlie- 
Republican and Mr. Leaning The Intelligencer. Bot^i the daily and 



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284 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

weekly editions are Republican in politics, and vigorously advocate the 
principles of that party, wielding an acknowledged influence in Fulton 
and adjoining counties. Mr. Blunck is a native of the town of Otsego, 
Otsego county, N. Y., and received an academic education at Coopers- 
town, after which he pursueS journalism, connecting himself with sev- 
eral prominent newspapers, in*which capacity he attained his present 
thorough knowledge of the business. 

The Evening News was the pioneer daily newspaper in Johnstown, 
and proved a successful venture. Its founder and publisher, L. Fay 
Shaul, was a practical newspaper man and profited by the experience 
he had obtained in other efforts of the same kind. His first venture 
was in Amsterdam, where in 1885 he established . 714^ Good Templar, 
which was in 1886 adopted as the official organ of the Knights of Labor 
in this section and its name changed to The Workman. 

In 1887 Mr. Shaul disposed of the Amsterdam plant to James Bart- 
ley, of that city, and in August of the same year established the Glov- 
ersville Daily Leader, a paper that soon became well known and re- 
ceived liberal patronage. In March, 1888, he disposed of a half interest 
in The Leader to William B. Collins, of Albany, and in November, 1889, 
sold the remaining half to his partner and then came to Johnstown, where 
he established The Evening News, December 31, 1889. This sheet was 
first published as an independent paper, and desjjite the fact that in a 
short time it had two competitors in the field, its business was such as 
to amply repay the publisher for his enterprise. Early in 1892 The 
Evening News espoused the principles of Democracy and was an able 
exponent of the Jeffersonian doctrines. 

Proposals with a view to consolidation were then mutually considered 
by Mr. Shaul, and George F. Beakley, of the Fulton County Democrat 
and The Daily Democrat. The result was a union of the two journals 
on June 1 1, 1892, under the name of The Daily Democrat, a title which 
was chosen because of its long connection with the oldest paper in the 
county. Mr. Shaul is a native of South Columbia, N. Y., and received 
his education in Amsterdam, whence he removed to Fulton county. 

Grand Opera House. — The building of the Opera House at Johns- 
town was an event awaited with much interest, and when the beautiful 
structure for publfc entertainment was finished its capacity was tested 



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THE OPERA HOUSE. 285 

to the utmost by appreciative audiences. The Opera House Company 
was incorporated in May, 1889, with a capital of $20,000, and the fol- 
lowing officers : David A. Wells, president ; Thomas R. Baker, vice- 
president ; Charles H. Ball, secretary ; James I. Younglove, treasurer; 
James P. Argersinger, M. B. Northrup, Sydney E. Trumbull, James L. 
Northrup, John T. Selmser, C. M. Rowell, James I. Younglove, Thomas 
B. Baker, Thomas E. Ricketts, Philip Keck, John Leavitt, D. A. Wells, 
and David Ireland, directors. Soon after the organization work was 
begun on the building itself, the land upon which it was built being pur- 
chased from Thomas B. Baker. The house was designed and built by 
Leon H. Lempert, of Rochester, N. Y., and opened October 24, 1889, 
by the Conreid Opera Company in "The Kings Fool." Its total cost 
was about $30,000. The stage is forty feet deep, sixty-four feet wide, 
forty-two feet to the gridiron, and has adjustable grooves, eighteen to 
twenty-one feet. It is fitted with twenty complete sets of scenery, be- 
sides set pieces and other parapharnalia usually found in a first class 
theatre. The proscenium has an opening of forty feet. In connection 
with the stage are nine large dressing-rooms, carpeted, heated by steam, 
and with running water in each room. The house is fitted with call 
bells and speaking tubes to the dressing-rooms and manager's office. 
It is lighted by gas with automatic electric spark lighters. It has a seat- 
ing capacity of 1,000; six boxes, and folding opera chairs throughout. 
The auditorium is also arranged with an adjustable floor that rests upon 
jack-screws. This can be lowered and a ball room floor placed over 
the orchestra chairs. Under the lobby is a dining-room and kitchen, 
to be used on occasions of parties and balls. The Opera House is un- 
der the sole management of C. H. Ball, and has always booked and 
played excellent attractions. 

Masonic and other Societies. — Highly favorable views of the value 
and benefits of Masonry were entertained by Sir William Johnson and 
his contemporaries, as is shown by the fact that he had scarcely lived at 
the Hall more than three years, when he took active steps towards the 
establishment of a lodge, being himself its master. Before giving an ac- 
count of the progress of St. Patrick's lodge, it seems fitting to relate a 
few facts to show where and when Sir William himself became a Mason. 
An old Masonic manuscript, some time since in the possession of Rob- 



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286 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

ert H. Brown, of Albion, contains an account of moneys received for 
the charity fund of Union Lodge No. i of Albany. In this ancient 
document, under date of April lo, 1766, the following item appears : 

Bro. Sir William Johnson on raising £ 16 

Bro, G-uy Johnson on raising 16 

Bro. Claus at entering 3 4 

Bro. Butler at entering 3 4 

Bro. Moffat at entering 3 4 

Rochat on signing by-laws 8 

Bro. Johnson on signing by-laws 8 

Bro. Byrne on entering 3 4 

Bro. Trewin on entering 3 4 

From the above it is apparent that Sir William Johnson was "raised" 
in Union Lodge No. i, at Albany, on the lOth of April, 1766, as was 
also his son-in-law, Guy Johnson. Daniel Claus paid his entrance fee 
at the same time. It is also clear that on the same night that Sir Wil- 
liam and Guy Johnson were "raised," Brothers Butler, Moffat, Byrne 
and Trewin paid their entrance fees of ;^3 4s. each, and that Brother 
Rochat signed the by-laws. It is also of interest .to note the cost and 
charges for being " made a Mason " over one hundred years ago in this 
state. The antiquated Masonic document, from which the above infor- 
mation is gleaned, came into the possession of Mr, Brown from his 
father, Rufus Brown, of Albany, who was for many years master of 
Masten Lodge, then No, 2, of that city. It is quite probable that S"ir 
William went to Albany and became a Mason for the purpose of estab- 
lishing a lodge at the Hall and that Guy Johnson, Col. Claus and John 
Butler also became Masons to insure the success of the project. These 
men all held important positions in St. Patrick's Lodge upon its organ- 
ization. It is now known" as St. Patrick's Lodge No. 4, Free and Ac- 
cepted Masons, but the original number of the lodge was 8. The war- 
rant constituting -this venerable body of Masons was dated May 23, 
1766, and granted by the provincial grand master of New York, to Sir 
William Johnson, Bart., master; Guy Johnson, esq., senior warden; 
and Daniel Claus, esq., junior warden, of Johnstown, N. Y. The or- 
ganization took place at Johnson Hall August 23, 1766, and the lodge 
worked under the supervision of Sir William Johnson, as master, until 
December 6, 1770, when, having been elected master of" the ineffable 



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MASONIC. 287 

lodge" at Albany, Ancient Accepted Scottish rite, Sir William was suc- 
ceeded by Col. Guy Johnson, who held the office until May 5, 1774, 
when the hostilities preceding the revolution began. From May 5, 
1774, until July 31, 1785, a period of seven years, no meetings of the 
lodge took place. • Up to this time all meetings had been held at the 
Hall, the first initiation being that of Hendrick Fry, September i, 1766. 
On the 7th of the following March Jelles Fonda was made a Mason, and 
it was in his honor that the town of Fonda in Montgomery county was 
named. Aside from Guy Johnson, master, Daniel Claus, senior war 
den, and John Butler, secretary, who were colonels in the British army, 
many members of the lodge were engaged in the military service either 
tory or patriot, both as officers and privates. Among the officers were 
General Nicholas Herkimer, killed at the battle of Oriskany, August 
6, 1777 ; Lieutenants Benjamin Roberts, George Phyn, Turbott Fran- 
cis, Hugh Frazer and Augustine Prevost, and Majors Peter Ten Broeck 
and Jelles Fonda. The effects of the war were so much felt by the 
lodge that of the forty-three who were members when the war com- 
menced only three remained after its close to assist in its reorganization. 
Some fell on the battlefield, but by far the greater number of them, 
having taken sides with the royalists, under the lead of Sir John John- 
son, lost their property by confiscation, and at the close of the revo- 
lution left the country. After the establishment of peace, the lodge 
reorganized by warrant of the Grand Lodge of the State of New York, 
dated July 20, 1784, granted to Zephaniah Bachellor, master; Robert 
Adams, senior warden ; Christopher P. Yates, junior warden. The 
meetings were held at a private house for several years, and in 1792 
the lodge purchased of Michael Rawlins the property so long known as 
" the lodge," now owned by Mortimer Wade. The lodge soon ac- 
quired a large membetship, but later on, owing to a general decline, 
and the troubles arising out of a division of its memb'erSj who had di- 
verging opinions on the subjects involving the Grand Lodge during the 
anti- Masonic excitement, the lodge relinquished its charter in 1849. It 
will be noticed that from December 2, 1820, until December 7, J 843, 
no new master was elected, meetings simply being held once a year, in 
order to retain the charter. The warrant under which the lodge now 
works was granted June 6, 1850, to Samuel Maxwell, master; Asahel 



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288 ff /STORY OF FULTOAT COUNTY. 

Whitney, senior warden; and Marcellus Gilbert, junior warden. As 
has been stated, St. Patrick's lodge was first known as No. 8, which 
number it held until July 20, 1784, when it was changed to 9. On 
June 4, 1819, it was again changed to 11, and on June 4, 1828, to 4, 
which number it still holds. In 1867 plans were made and work begun 
<in the lodge building on Main street, and the structure was completed 
and occupied in 1868. It was at that time and is to-day, one of Johns- 
town's most imposing buildings, and has been a great source of profit to 
the lodge. The lodge room is spacious and elegant and its walls are 
adorned with portraits of Sir William and other deceased members of 
note. The archives of the lodge in Sir William's time are still pre- 
served and contain many points of antiquarian interest. More impor- 
tant, however, than all other historic appointments are the silver em- 
blems which were presented by Sir William and which arc among the 
most valued curiosities of the order. The original charter and the old 
jewels were carried away by Sir John Johnson when he fled to Canada, 
and for a half century were lost. The following appears in the records 
June 3, 183 1 : " Sir John Johnson gave directions to have the old 
provincial warrant and jewels of the lodge returned, and the worship- 
ful master has received the same by direction of Sir John Johnson." 
The most interesting private memorial of St. Patrick's lodge is the sil- 
ver badge formerly belonging to Frederick Fisher, colonel in the fa- 
mous Tryon county regiment, and who fought under Herkimer at Oris- 
kany. As Colonel Fisher was made a Mason some years before the 
revolution, this is probably the oldest relic of its kind in existence. It 
is now in the possession of his great-grandson, Alfred De Graff, of 
Danoscura place. The records of the lodge are complete from its or- 
ganization in 1766 to the present time. Its centennial anniversary was 
celebrated at Johnson Hall, May 23, 1866, and the occasion was one of 
deep interest to the public as well as to the members of the order. M. 
W. John L. Lewis, P. G. M., delivered the oration. The lodge is now 
one of the most prosperous and wealthy Masonic orgaiiizations in the 
country. Its reserve fund enables it to pay a considerable sum to the 
survivors of deceased members. Following is a list of the masters of 
St. Patrick's lodge from its organization to the present time : 1766, 
Sir William Johnson, Bart; 1770, Col. Guy Johnson ; 1784, Zephaniah 



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MASONIC. 289 

Batchellor; 1792, John McCarthy; 1797, John Morgan; 1802, Abijah 
Lobdell ; 1805, Richard Dodge ; 1806, Stephen Owen ; 1807, Henry F. 
Yates; 1808, Nicholas Philpot ; 1810, Caleb Johnson; 1811, Peter 
Brooks, jr.; 1812, Benjamin Chamberlain ; 1814, Joseph Cuyler ; 1816, 
John W. Cady ; 1818, Nicholas Yost; 1820, John L. Lobdell; 1843, 
Samuel Maxwell; 1850, John Frothingham ; 1852, Nathan J. Johnson; 
1855, Daniel Cameron ; 1856, George Perkin ; 1857, J. J. Whitehouse ; 
1858, Samuel Hopgood ; i860, Joseph J. Riton ; 1861, Francis Bur- 
dick; 1866, James M. Dudley; 1868, John G. Ferres ; 1869, P. P. 
Argersinger ; 1876, Marcus F. Pierson ; 1877, John W. Uhlinger ; 1882, 
A J. Nellis; 1885, M. S. Northrup ; 1887, James Stewart; 1888, Sid- 
ney E. Trumbull; 1889, Philip Keck; 1891, Frank Miller, the present 
master. The lodge at present has a membership of 160 master Masons. 

The present officers of St. Patrick's lodge are : Frank Miller, W. M ; 
John J. Buchanan, S. W. ; John A. Karg, J. W. ; John W. Uhlinger, 
treasurer; Eugene Moore, secretary; George C. Potter, S. D. ; William 
H. Young, J. D. ; Thomas C. Grimes, S. M. C. ; George S. J. Chant, J. 
M. C. ; Mortimer Wade, jr., marshal; Rev. D. M. Reeves, chaplain; 
George R. Smith, organist; Douw H. Heagle, tyler; Samuel Hopgood,, 
James P. Argersinger, John G. Ferres, trustees. 

Johnstown Chapter, No. 78, Royal Arch Masons, was organized'. 
February 13, 1823. The first officers were Benjamin Chamberlain, M. 
E. H. P. ; Joseph Cuyler, K. ; Henry Cunningham, scribe ; Samuel R. 
Dudley, secretary; Asa Child, treasurer; Charles Easton, C. of H. ; 
David Mosher, P. S. ; Aaron Fletcher, R. A. C. ; Nicholas Philpot, M. 
3d V. ; Howland Greenhill, M. 2d V. ; Seth Whitmore, M. 1st V. ; 
Amos Rood, sentinel. 

The record of this venerable chapter has been one of unusual success 
and its members have ever been men of the highest integrity and hon- 
orable character. The following is a list of the high priests of this 
chapter since its organization: 1823. to 1825, Benjamin Chamberlain ; 
1825 to 1837, Joseph Cuyler; 1839 to 1859, N. J. Johnson; 1859, 
Junot J. Whitehouse; i860 to 1863, Daniel Cameron; 1863 to 1866 
Samuel Hopgood; 1867 to 1870, James Byron Murray; 1870 to 1877, 
Samuel Hopgood ; 1877 to 1880, James H. Pike ; 1880 to 1882, Samuel 
Hopgood ; 1882 to 1887, Philip Keck ; 1887, Samuel Hopgood ; 1888, 

37 



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290 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

A. J. Nellis; 1889 to 1892, John G. Ferres. The chapter has 186 
members. The present officers are : John G. Ferres, M. E. H. P. ; 
Thomas E. Ricketts, E. K. ; Sidney E. Trumbull, E. S. ; John W. 
Uhlinger, treasurer ; Eugene Moore, secretary ; Frank Hanson, C. of 
H ; John T. Selmser, P. S. : John J. Buchanan, R. A. C. ; Harwood 
Dudley, M. 3d V. ; John A. Karg, M. 2d V. ; Mortimer Wade, jr., M. 
1st V. ; Rev. Peter Felts, chaplain; George R. Smith, organist; Douw 
H. Heagle, tyler. 

Johnstown Council, No. 72, R. & S. M., was organized October 3, 
1 89 1. With the purpose in view of establishing a council at Johnstown, 
a number of the members of St. Patrick's lodge went to Albany and 
took degrees and became members of Dewitt Clinton Council, No. 22. 
As soon as they received the dispensation from the Grand Council of the 
State of New York the organization of the Johnstown council took 
place. There are at present seventy eight members. The first officers 
have held their respective positions up to the present time, and are as 
follows : Philip Keck, T. I. M. ; Frank Hanson, D. I. M. ; John A. 
Karg, I. P. C. of the W. ; Eugene Moore, recorder ; John G. Ferres, 
treasurer; John J. Buchanan, C. of the G. ; John T. Selmser, C. of the 
C. ; Rev. Peter Felts, chaplain ; A. E. Blunck, marshal ; A. B. Wassung, 
steward ; Douw H. Heagle, sentinel ; George R. Smith, organist. 

Glove Manufacturers. — The glove and mitten factory ot P. P. Arger- 
singer & Company is located in the brick buildings Nos. 2 to 8 North 
William street and No. 2 Church street. The business was established 
by P. P. Argersinger in the year 1862. He began making gloves on a 
very small scale compared with the present extensive establishment. 
In 1864 his brothel', J. P. Argersinger, returned to Johnstown from 
California and became a partner, the glove'firm being known thence- 
forth as P. P. Argersinger & Company. The history of this firm is 
similar to that of the other large glove manufacturers of Johnstown and 
Gloversville, inasmuch, the magnitude of its present business being due 
to untiring perseverance and industry. The first of the brick buildings 
now occupied was erected in 1873, and together with two subsequent 
additions, the first built in 1881 and the second in 1889, constitute a 
block of about one hundred feet square, three stories high, with a base- 
ment. The firm manufactures a general line of gloves, from the cheap- 



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GLOVE MANUFACTURERS. 291 

est to the finest qualities, in all styles, including deer, goat, elk, horse- 
hide, hogskin and sheepskin for heavy goods, and kid, dog, mocha, 
lambskin and coltskin in fine goods. The latter skin is an importation 
from Russia. There were manufactured by Messrs. Argersinger in 1891 
between 45,000 and 50,000 dozen pairs. At present they are turning 
out about 200 dozen pairs per day. They employ, inside and outside 
the factory, from four to five hundred people. 

The Northrup Glove Manufacturing Company is located at 27 and 
29 South Market street. The business of this firm was originally estab- 
lished January, 1869, by M. S. Northrup, who was succeeded in 1872 
by W. S. & M. S. Northrup, and in 1875 by W. S. & M. S. Northrup ^ 
Company. The present company was capitalized in 1883, the members 
at that time consisting of W. S., M. S., M. B., J. C, and J. L. North- 
rup. These members constitute the company at present, with the ex- 
ception of J. C. Northrup, who died in 1889. The factory is a large, 
three-story, brick building, 50 x lOO feet in area, fitted with the latest 
machinery known to the glove manufacturing trade. The enterprise 
furnishes employment to 400 operatives, and the capacity of the factory 
is 40,000 dozen of gloves per annum. The product includes fine doe- 
skin, castor, kid, dog-skin and the celebrated mocha gloves, which are, 
well known wherever gloves are used. The company operate in con- 
junction with their glove factory an extensive skin and leather mill, 
situated on the west side of Mill street. The tanning and dressing of 
mocha skins is the chief industry at this mill, and as the process is par- 
ticularly interesting, a brief description of it may not be out of place in 
these pages. The mocha is a haired sheep, being in fact the same kind 
of animal as was tended by shepherds as described in the Bible. It is- 
found in great numbers in Arabia and Africa, and the skins are import- 
ed to America from Aden. There are two kinds of mocha, known as 
whiteheads and blackheads, respectively. The former come mostly 
from Arabia, and the latter from Abyssinia and the headwaters of the 
Nile. In Messrs. Northrup's storehouse, a building 50 x 80 feet in 
area, two stories high, are stored more than 60,000 of these skins, the 
firm controlling three-fifths of the entire importation to this country. 
On the upper floor of this building are stored a number of antelope 
skins, of which the company still handle from 15,000 to 20,000 per 



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292 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

year, although the supply is rapidly decreasing. The skins are first 
received into the ground floor of the mill, which is used as a beamhouse, 
where twenty vats are located. This floor is laid in one solid piece of 
concrete, so graded and intersected with gulleys or sluiceways as to 
carry to a common center every drop of water or moisture, and pre- 
serving a dry, hard surface for the feet of the workmen. The skins are 
first put in to soak, then run in the stocks to soften them, and sub- 
sequently thrown in the lime vats, where they remain twenty- four 
hours. They are then pulled, each skin being separately put back in 
fresh lime liquor. After the skins are sufficiently limed they are put 
through the unhairing machine, with which one man can accomplish as 
much in a day as eight could by the old process. They then go to the 
fleshing machine, which removes all the superfluous pieces of flesh from 
them and stretches them out considerably. In August, 1 89 1, a frizing 
machine was put into the mill, which removes the grain from the skins, 
and does it much more perfectly than a man could do it by hand. 
About 450 skins are put through this machine per day. The next step 
in the process is known as the scudding, which removes the inner 
grain, and is done by hand, over a beam, on which a heavy buckskin is 
placed as a bolster. After the skins are scud and drenched they are 
placed in a revolving drum, ten feet in diameter, with a dressing com- 
posed of salt, alum, and flour, in dilution. One thousand skins are 
placed in this drum at one time and allowed to remain about two hours. 
After this they are allowed to drain for several hours, and then put 
upon trays and hoisted to the top floor, where they are hung on tenter 
hooks in rooms heated by steam, and dried They then undergo the 
process known to the trade as " making," which consists of placing the 
skins in piles and permitting them to remain untouched for from four to 
six weeks. Their next trip is to the floor below, where they are spread 
out in long wooden bins and covered with damp sawdust, which softens 
and mellows them. They are then knee staked, arm staked, and put on 
the finishing wheel. This wheel is made oi papier mac he, wilh an emery 
covering. The skins are then carried to the ground floor and placed in 
a slowly revolving drum, where egg yolk is thoroughly worked into 
them for softening. It is in this part of the process that so many thou- 
sand dozens of eggs are used by leather dressers. When thoroughly 



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GLOVE MANUFACl URERS. 



293 



egged the skins are again hoisted to the upper floor and dried, after 
which they are once more dampened in the sawdust, knee and arm 
staked, and then assorted for coloring, with regard to those which are 
suitable for ladies' and men's wear. In the dyeing-room two processes 
are used. One, called the " dipsie," consists of placing the skins in a 
drum partly filled with warm water, where the dye is slowly worked 
into them. In the other process the skins are placed upon a lead- 
covered table and nicely smoothed out. The operator then gives them 
a preparatory coat of mordaunt, afterwards going over them with a 
" slicker," which removes the superfluous liquid. They are then treated 
to four brushes of dye, " slicked " again, and subjected to the action of 
a chemical known as a " striker," which sets the dye. As fast as two 
or three dozen skins are dyed they are hung in an adjoining room to 
dry. Another process of dyeing, where umber and clay colors are 
used, is done on the second floor. In this no mordaunt or striker is 
used. After being colored and dried the skins go for the third time 
into the sawdust, and also receive another knee and arm staking. They 
are then put on a fine emery wheel, which gives them their finishing 
touches. Final polish is given to the skins by placing them on a 
revolving wheel covered with plush, which aside from imparting an ex- 
cellent finish removes all the dust. This wheel is the invention of a 
Johnstown leather worker, and when the skins have passed over it they 
are ready for the glove cutter. One hundred workmen are employed 
in the mill, and 225,000 castor skins are turned out annually. 

J. H. Decker, Son & Company, glove manufacturers, occupy the 
three story building Number 29 North Market street. The firm's 
business was established in Johnstown by J. H. Decker in 1875. He 
was one of the pioneer glove manufacturers of Gloversville, having been 
associated there with J. C. Leonard under the firm name of Leonard & 
Decker for many years. Mr. Decker carried on business alone until 
1880, when his son, E. C. Decker, and in 1882, Sidney Argersinger 
were received into the firm, which has since been known as J. H. Decker, 
Son & Company. The factory buildings cover an area of 50 x 200 
feet, including a recent addition of 80 feet, and are all three stories in 
height. The firm manufactures all classes of heavy and medium weight 
goods, the product in 1891 amounting to upward of 50,000 dozen pairs. 



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294 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

Employment is given to a large number of operatives, the greater part 
of the work being done outside of the factory. 

Mason, Campbell & Company, glove manufacturers, are located at 
lO and 12 North Perry street. The firm comprises as its members, 
James F. Mason, D. W. Campbell, J. F. Mason, jr., and D. Campbell 
Mason. The foundation for the present business was laid in the year 
1869, by James F. Mason and D. W. Campbell, formerly grocerymen 
of Johnstown, who began making gloves on North Ferry street. The 
junior members entered the firm in 1883. They manufacture all kinds 
of gents' and ladies' gloves, including a full line of mochas. The pro- 
duct of this firm during the year 1891 was about 20,000 dozen pairs. 
The enterprise furnishes employment to about one hundred workers. 

R. J. & R. Evans, glove manufacturers, 11 West State street. The 
business of this firm was established by R. J. Evans in 1867. Richard 
Evans, a brother, was received as partner January i, 1874, since which 
time the style of the firm has been unchanged. Messrs. Evans have 
always manufactured a line of heavy goods, consisting of buckskins, 
horsehide, calf and sheep-skins. They occupy a brick building, 54 x 86 
feet in area, three stories in height, with an attic and basement. Ex- 
tensive improvements were made to the building in 1879 and again in 
1891. The establishment furnishes employment to seventy-five workers 
in the factory and about one hundred outside. There were manufactured 
during 1891 about 25,000 dozen pairs of gloves. 

Ireland Brothers are located at 23 and 25 West State street and 
manufacture fine gloves, consisting mostly of kid, colt, mochas, and 
dog skins. They also make some lines of buckskins and heavy goods. 
The business was established on Green street in 1875, by John S.,. 
James and David Ireland, who came to Johnstown from the west. 
They remained on Green street until 1879, removing to their present 
quarters in September of that year. The dimensions of their factory 
are 35x75 feet, the building being four stories in height. They em- 
ploy altogether 150 operatives and manufactured 22,000 dozen pairs 
of gloves in 1891. John S. Ireland, the senior member of the firm, died 
October 26, 1 89 1, the remaining brothers (James and David) have 
since then conducted the business. 

P. Z. Drumm's Sons manufacture a general line of heavy gloves, con- 
sisting of buck, calf, goat, hog, and horse-skins, in their factory on State- 



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GLOVE MANUFACTURERS. 295 

street at the foot of William. The business was establifhed in 1862, by 
P. Z. Drumm, who began making gloves and mittens in a small way in 
the rear of his residence, corner of Green and State streets, at the foot 
of William. This dwelling-house is known as the oldest one in the vil- 
lage, having been built in the days of Sir William Johnson. Mr. Drumm 
carried on the business alone until 1878, when he received as a partner 
his son, Clifford H. Drumm, the firm taking the title of P. Z. Drumm 
& Son. The father died April 28, 1885, and the present firm was 
formed January i, 1886, when another son, Edwin H. Drumm, was 
admitted, and the firm name of P. Z. Drumm's Sons established. This 
firm manufactured about 8,000 dozen pairs during the year 1891. 

The glove factory of Thomas E. Ricketts is located at 7 North Mel- 
cher street. This business was established by Mr. Ricketts himself in 
1868. The following year he took Charles Hodgscn as a partner and 
the firm style was changed to Ricketts & Hodgson, continuing thus 
until October, 1876, when the building occupied by the firm, which was 
located on the site of the present factory, was entirely destroyed by fire. 
The firm was then dissolved, both members resuming the manufacture of 
gloves independently. The building now occupied by Mr. Ricketts 
was built in 1877-78 and has been used by him as a factory ever since. 
It is 36 X 105 feet in area, built of brick, three stories high. Mr. Hodgson 
remained a manufacturer in Johnstown about six years, when he relin- 
quished his business to become a foreman for M. Beeber & Company, 
Gloversvillc, a position he still holds. Mr. Ricketts employs about 
forty workers in the factory, but a large portion of the the product is made 
outside. There were manufactured at this establishment in 1891 about 
15,000 dozen pairs of gloves. 

Shults & Company, 26 and 28 South William street, are manufac- 
turers of ladies' and gents' fine kid and castor gloves. The business was 
established on its present site in 1867 by Byron G. Shults, senior member 
of the present firm. At that time very few fine gloves were made in 
Fulton county, and possibly not a single overstitched glove had been 
made in Johnstown. The building occupied is 40 by 80 feet in area, 
three stories high, and the firm employs ei,ther in or out of the building 
150 operatives. They manufactured 10,000 dozen pairs during the 
year 1891. The present members of the firm are Byron G. Shults and 



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296 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

his son Edward W. Shults, the junior member having entered the part- 
nership in 1885. 

J. C. Hutchinson, 33 South Market street, is engaged in the manu- 
facture of fine kid and dog-skin driving gloves, both lined and unlined. 
Mr. Hutchinson started as a dealer in 1862 and began manufacturing 
in the year 1865 in the old yellow building opposite the county clerk's 
office on West Main street. He remained there until 1871, when, to- 
gether with James Northrup, he purchased the old United Presbyterian 
church building on South Market street The structure was repaired, 
enlarged and remodeled and the south half was used as a glove factory 
by Mr. Hutchinson and the north half by Mr. Northrup. Mr. Hutch- 
inson now employs on an average about sixty workers, and manufactured 
upwards of 6,000 dozen pairs of gloves in 1891. The dimensions of 
his factory are 40 by 80 feet with two " L's " of thirty feet each in the 
rear. The building is two stories high. 

Weare & Chant manufacture fine gloves exclusively, in the brick 
building at the southeast corner of State and Melcher streets. The 
business was established by Thomas Busby in 1871 on South Perry 
street. The firm of Busby & Weare was formed in 1874 and contin- 
ued a year or two when, upon the withdrawal of Mr. Busby, Mr. Weare 
carried on the business alone until 1884, when ht became the junior 
member of the firm of J. C. Hutchinson & Company. This connection 
lasted three years. In January, 1887, Mr. Weare associated himself 
with Ralph R. Chant, forming the present firm of Weare & Chant. 
They employ altogether about twenty- five or thirty workers and made 
3,000 dozen pairs in 1891. Their line includes mochas, fine kid and 
genuine dog-skin gloves. 

C. W. Rowles manufactures light grades of gloves, making a special- 
ty of craven tan and cape driving gloves, at 29 East Main street. Mr. 
Rowles succeeded to the business of his father, W. H. Rowles, who, with 
William Mister, began making gloves in 1858 on the corner of Wash- 
ington and Market streets, afterwards removing to a building on West 
Main street. They subsequently purchased the old Presbyterian church 
and converted it into a glove factory. Later on the building was pur- 
chased and greatly enlarged by its present occupants, J. H. Decker, 
Son & Company. The firm of Rowles & Mister continued until 1870,. 



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GLOVE MANUFACTURERS. 297 

when the junior member retired and removed to Virginia. In 1875 
Mr. Rowles moved his factory to the present location on East Main 
street. He died Marcii 29, 1889, and the business has since been con- 
ducted by his son. There were manufactured at this factory during 
1891 about 4,000 dozen pairs. 

C. M. Rowell, 33 and 35 North Market street, manufactures gloves 
and mittens, making a specialty of Indian tan buckskin gloves and mit- 
tens, and woolen mittens faced or palmed with leather. In the latter 
line Mr. Rowell has been the largest manufacturer in the county for 
several years, making from 12,000 to 15,000 dozen pairs a year of 
these goods. The business was established by Mr. Rowell in 1874 on 
South Market street. The building he now occupies is 33 by 70 feet 
in area and three stories high. He employs from twenty to thirty work- 
ers and manufactured about 10,000 dozen pairs in 1891. He is also con- 
nected with the Rowell Glove Company whose offices are at Waterloo,, 
Iowa, which city is made a distributing point of the company. 

M. B. Vosburgh, 100 South Market street, corner Clinton avenue, 
manufactures a general line of kid, sheep-skin, mocha and buckskin 
gloves. Mr. Vosburgh began the manufacture of gloves in 1874 on 
South Melcher street, removing afterward to a location on Clinton 
street, whence he moved to his present quarters in April, 189b. The 
building he now occupies is the old Frothingham homestead, one of 
the oldest buildings in the village, having been built in the year 
1 8 16 by Benjamin Chamberlain. Seven cutters are employed in Mr. 
Vosburgh's shop, but the gloves are all sewed outside. About 12,000- 
dozen pairs were made by him in 1891. 

Bernard Putnam, 24 South Melcher street, manufactures medium 
and heavy weight gloves for laboring men, including kid and patent 
dressed stocks. Mr. Putnam began making gloves in 1876 and has 
carried on his business in its present location from the start. Henry 
W. Potter was associated with him as partner during 1876 and W. S. 
Pierson during the year 1879. Mr. Putnam made 3,000 dozen pairs in, 
1891. 

William Windsor & Son, manufacturers of fine kid gloves and mit- 
tens, are located at 322^ West Main street. The business was be- 
gun by William Windsor in 1873 at 123 Main street. He received as- 
38 



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298 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

a partner his son, Arthur A. Windsor, in 1892, and the firm of William 
Windsor & Son was thus established. They manufacture about 1,500 
dozen pairs during the year. 

George R. Smith occupies the ground floor of the building at 13 
West Green street. He manufactures a ladies' fine kid glove which is 
intended to take the place of Perrin's imported goods. Mr. Smith be- 
gan business on Main street in 1879 where he remained until 1881, 
when the firm of Smith & Penny was formed, the junior member being 
Albert Penny. They moved their business to the brick block on 
Melcher street now occupied by Stewart & Briggs. In December, 1887, 
Mr. Smith purchased the interest of Mr. Penny and has since conducted 
the business alone. He has occupied his present location since January 
I, 1889. He manufactured about 1,800 dozen pairs in 1891. 

Hall & Van Sickler manufacture kid gloves and mittens at 4 West 
Green street. The business was established by them in 1875 at 14 
West Green. They have occupied their present location since early in 
1886. The firm is composed of George Hall and C. H. Van Sickler. 

The glove factory of Emenzo Bradt is located at No. i Gilbert street. 
The business was established in 1877 by Nelson Vrooman and Emenzo 
Bradt on East State street. The firm was known as Vrooman & Bradt, 
and continued under that style for seven years. The partnership was 
dissolved in January, 1884, and Mr. Bradt erected a factory at the rear 
of his residence on Gilbert street. He has since made two additions to 
the original building, one in 1889 and another in 1891. Eight workers 
are employed in the shop, but all gloves are made outside. 

Nelson Vrooman, glove manufacturer, is located at 108 and 1 10 South 
Market street. Mr. Vrooman has been connected with the glove in- 
dustry in its various branches for a period of forty years, having begun 
to make buckskin gloves by hand when scarcely six years of age. He 
first engaged as a manufacturer in the fall of 1876, being then located 
at what is now No. 3 South Melcher street and having Emenzo Bradt 
as partner. The firm of Vrooman & Bradt continued seven years, the 
business being removed in 1877 to a factory on Church street, and in 
1878 to No. 2 West State street where they remained four years. In 
the fall of 1883 Mr. Vrooman purchased his partner's entire interest and 
established himself alone, removing to what is now the rear of 121 South 



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GLOVE MANUFACTURERS. 299 

Melcher street, where he was located one year. He then hired a shop 
that stood on Melcher street, directly opposite Gilbert street, removing 
to what was known as Northrup's red siiop on South Market street in 
the rear of the Dutch Reformed church. In the fall of 1886 he pur- 
chased the old Academy property on Market street and remodeled it 
into a glove factory and has occupied it as such ever since. Mr. Vroo- 
man employs in the factory about twenty operatives, nine being 
glove cutters. His goods are all made outside the factory by farmers' 
wives amd daughters to the number of seventy-five or one hundred per- 
sons. He manufactures a style of glove known as fleshers, kid and 
yellow grained leather, made up into seventy or eighty different styles. 
Mr. Vrooman began by making about 3,500 dozen pairs per annum at 
a value of $15,000 and has gradually increased his capacity until, in 
1891, his output has reached 15,000 dozen at a value of $60,000. 

Thomas Davies, glove manufacturer, occupies the west half of the 
building at 3 and 5 Church street. Mr. Davies established himself as 
a manufacturer in 1875 in the building now occupied by the Johns- 
town Republican office, remaining there for nearly fifteen years. In 
October, 1889, he purchased the Jacob Miller property on Church 
street, which he repaired and remodeled and has occupied the building 
together with the Johnstown Electric Light and Power Company since- 
early in 1890. Mr. Davies chiefly manufactures driving gloves and 
employs twenty workers. He made about 2,200 dozen pairs in. 1891. 

James D. Pierson, manufactures gloves at 10 West Green street. 
The business was established about i860, by the late James Dunn, who 
was at different times associated with John Plantz, Matthew Bearcroft, 
and later on Abram V. Pierson. The firm of Dunn & Pierson contin- 
ued until 1880, when Mr. Pierson withdrew and the establishment was 
carried on by Mr. Dunn until his death, which occurred in July, 1889. 
James D. Pierson has conducted the factory since that time. He man- 
ufactures domestic kid gloves of all grades, and made 500 dozen pairs in 
1 89 1. 

Edward H. Smith manufactures fine gloves and mittens at 31 South 
Perry street. He engaged in the manufacture of gloves March i,. 
1876, and at that time was located on West Clinton street, where he 
remained about one year. He purchased the property he now occu- 



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300 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

pies in the fall of 1882. Mr. Smith makes a specialty of fine table cut 
goods and turned out 800 dozen pairs in 1891. 

Mark L. Hambridge & Company occupy the building at 39 South 
Perry street. This business was established in 1876, by M. L. Ham- 
bridge and G. H. Wheadon, on West Main street. The firm of Ham- 
bridge & Wheadon continued about nine years. In January 1885, the 
present firm was formed and has carried on the business to this date. 
The firm manufacture an excellent line of fine castor gloves, lined and 
unlined, and employ about thirty workers. 

James H. Pierson, glove manufacturer, is located at 4 McMartin 
street. He began the manufacture of gloves in 1879, on South Mar- 
"ket street, where he remained about five years, removing to his present 
location April i, 1884. He manufactures mens' and boys' T. B. gloves 
and mittens, and a Plymouth band top glove. He made about 1,500 
dozen pairs in 1891. 

William H. Streeter, glove manufacturer, is located in the new build- 
ing at 307 State street. Mr. Streeter began business in February, 1 89 1, 
at 14 Cayadutta street. In November of the same year he erected the 
factory in the rear of his residence, and has occupied the building since 
the latter part of December. He manufactures a general line of fine 
kid gloves and mittens and also mocha castors. He made about 2,200 
dozen pairs in 1891. 

Arthur T. Hallock, glove manufacturer, occupies the lower floor of 
the Streeter mill at the corner of Mill and State streets. Mr. Hallock 
began the manufacture of gloves in the rear of 4 McMartin street, No- 
vember 26, 1890, at the age of eighteen years. His chief capital was 
perseverance and integrity, and in less than six months felt the neces- 
sity of more commodious quarters. He therefore, in July, 1891, re- 
moved his business to the premises he now occupies and the capacity 
of his shop has increased from the limited number of pairs which he 
himself could cut, to the product of eight cutters, whom he now em- 
ploys. He manufactures sheep-skin gloves and mittens exclusively and 
made about 5.000 dozen pairs in 1891. 

Stewart & Briggs, glove manufacturers, ^re located at 5 North Mel- 
cher street. The firm is composed of James Stewart and William T. 
Briggs, the former having been the junior partner of the firm of Ray- 



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GLOVE MANUFACTURERS. 301 

mond & Stewart. Upon the death of William H. Raymond in 1890, 
the present firm was established, its existence dating from January i, 
of that year. Both members of the firm are descendants from pioneer 
families of Montgomery and Fulton counties, and have built up an en- 
viable standard of quality for their goods. The building they occupy 
is a brick structure 40 X 100 feet in area, three floors and basement. 
They make a general line of light and heavy goods for ladies' and 
gents' wear, catering especially to the retail trade. They employ 
eighty to a hundred workers, of whom one half are employed in the fac- 
tory. The firm does a business of from $100,000 to $150,0000 annu- 
ally. 

George B. Wayne manufactures gloves at 18 South William street. 
He first engaged in this business on South Market street in 1881, at 
the age of twenty- two years, and has occupied his present location 
since January, 1883. He manufactures a line of heavy goods, well 
known to the trade, consisting mostly of deer, calf, goat, hog skins and 
Saranac and Spanish sheep. He made about 3,000 dozen pairs in 
1891. His first deposit was $50.00 in the First National Bank in 1880, 
giving his note for the purchase of the stock of Captain Thomas Wayne, 
his uncle, who first started the business in 1866. Mr. Wayne has been 
successful, although meeting with many losses, but having the spirit of 
General Anthony Wayne, with firm determination he has overcome 
many financial difficulties. 

Peckham, Powell & Co., 31 South Market street, are glove manufact- 
urers. The business was established in 1880 by S. C. Peckham and 
W. E. Powell, and that partnership continued until January, 1892, when 
F. D. Oliver was received as a member of the firm. They confine 
themselves to a line of heavy and medium weight gloves and mittens, 
and sell their goods direct to the retailers. The firm handle about 
12,000 dozen pairs per annum. 

J. P. Miller & Co., glove manufacturers, are located at 32 South 
Melcher street. The business was established in 1864 by John Stewart 
and J. P. Miller, the firm of Stewart & Miller continuing until 1875, at 
which time Mr. Stewart retired and Mr. Miller conducted the business 
alone until 1889. Charles A. Miller (a son), and William P. Miller (a 
nephew), were then received into the firm as partners, but no change 



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302 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

has been made since. The firm manufactures a general line of both 
light and heavy gloves, and the average annual output is about 20,000 
dozen pairs. Employment is furnished to sixty workers inside and be- 
tween fifteen and twenty outside. 

M. Wade & Son, 12 West Montgomery street, are manufacturers of 
gloves and mittens. This business was established in Ephratah in 1857 
and removed to Johnstown in 1861. Frank B. Wade was received as 
a partner in 1889. The firm has confined itself more particularly to 
the manufacture of leather harvest mittens and gloves, and their output 
averages about 6,000 dozen per year. 

S. E. Trumbull manufactures all kinds of light and heavy gloves at 
21 South Market street. This business was established by Peter R. 
Simmons, who began making gloves in Rockwood, and moved his 
establishment to Johnstown about ten years ago. Mr. Simmons died 
in 1881, and Mr. Trumbull purchased the business in September, 1881, 
and conducted it at Rockwood until January i, 1883, when he removed 
it to Johnstown. In 189 1 he also purchased the stock and tools of 
Banta & Quibert, who had been engaged in glove making in the same 
building about two years, although prior to that they had been in busi- 
ness in Johnstown for several years. Mr. Trumbull also manufactures 
paper boxes in the same factory. He was for a time associated in this 
branch of the business with Nelson Vrooman, but during the past six- 
teen years has conducted the establishment alone. There are employed, 
in the factory sixty operatives. About 10,000 dozens of gloves and 
mittens were made at this shop in 1891. 

E. J. Lucas, 19 West State street, manufactures fine gloves exclu- 
sively. Mr. Lucas learned his trade in England and came to Johns- 
town and began business for himself in the latter part of 1890. He 
has had the benefit of experience with some of the best manufacturers. 

Riton Brothers, glove manufacturers, are located at 1 1 1 North Perry 
street. The firm is composed of Charles J. and Eugene Riton, and a 
specialty of fine overstitched goods is made. They began business on 
Melcher street in 1887, and have occupied their present location since 
January i, 1891. 

William J. Larcombe, manufacturers fine gloves at 118 East Main, 
street. He began on East Main stree.t near the old co-operative shop- 



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GLOVE MANUFACTURERS. 303 

in 1885 and the following year was in partnership with Stephen E. 
Walrath for about eight months. He makes a specialty of ladies' real 
kid foster lacing and gauntlet gloves, and turned out 500 dozen pairs 
in 1 89 1. 

George Geary, glove manufacturer, occupies the brick building No. 
27 South William street. He began manufacturing on West Clinton 
street in 1876. In 1885 he formed a partnership with Louis Jennison 
which lasted two years. He has occupied his present factory since 
January, 1887. Mr. Geary makes a specialty of fine goods, and turned 
out 3,000 dozen pairs in 1891. 

J. I. McMartin's Sons, glove manufacturer.";, are located at 3 East 
Clinton avenue. This business was established by James I. McMartin, 
prior to 1843, ^e continuing in the business during the remainder of his 
life. The firm of J. I. McMartin & Sons was established in January, 
1 88 1, at that time Daniel, Eli P., and Archibald McMartin were received 
into partnership. The following year, James Martin (the youngest son) 
was also made a partner, and in January, 1883, Daniel McMartin, the 
eldest son, withdrew his interest and the business was conducted by the 
father and three remaining sons until the death of the former, which 
occurred January 2, 1888. It was at that time the present firm name 
was adopted. Eli P. McMartin died May 17, 1891. The firm man- 
ufacture a general line but make aspecialty of medium weight and heavy 
buckskin goods. Their product has been long and favorably known 
to the trade and they have recently (1892) registered as their trade mark 
the initial M enclosed in a diamond, which they have used for several 
years past as a distinctive brand for their goods. 

Chapman Brothers manufacture California leather, Saranac and buck- 
skin gloves at 37 East Main street. The firm is composed of George 
H. and William F. Chapman. George Chapman succeeded to the 
business of Northrup, Richards & Company, which firm has been in 
operation in Broadalbin for nearly thirty years. He removed to Johns- 
town in 1890 and William F. Chapman became a partner the following 
year. They made 2,000 dozen pairs in 1891. 

Andrews & Johns, glove manufacturers, occupy the rear premises of 
Nos. 7 and 9 McMartin street. The firm consists of G. S. Andrews 
and J. Johns, who started the present business January r, 1892. They 



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304 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

make a medium grade of gloves, including specialties in jersey cloth 
goods. 

William D. Foote, manufacturer of all kinds of fur gloves, began 
business in 1868 as a manufacturer of buckskin goods He lias been 
located in his present quarters since 1875 and made about 600 dozen 
pairs during 1891. 

F. J. Raymond & Son, manufacturers of fine kid gloves and mittens. 
No. 9 Green street and 7 Smith street. The enterprising and prosper- 
ous firm of F. J. Raymond & Son, manufacturers of fine kid gloves and 
mittens, whose products have secured an enduring hold on popular 
favor all over the United States, owing to the uniformly high standard 
of excellence at which they are maintained, was established in 1886. 
The success that has attended the enterprise from its inception fully 
attests the superiority of the articles manufactured as well as the energy 
and ability displayed in the management of the same. 

The factory which, is located on Green and Smith streets, is a large 
and commodious two story building one hundred feet in length, fitted 
up with electric motor power and thoroughly equipped with new and 
improved machinery, furnishing steady employment to a number of 
skilled operators in the various departments. 

John D. Lefler, manufacturer of a general lineof light and heavy gloves, 
30 North Market street, began business January I, 1888. He now em- 
ploys about fifty workers and made 5,000 dozen pairs in 1891. 

Among others who are engaged in the manufacture of gloves in Johns- 
town may be mentioned Hewitt & Hillock, 113 North Perry street, 
whose business was established in January 1889; John M. Dougall, 
100 West Green street, began business with Albert Penny in 1889, and 
has been a leather manufacturer since 1878 ; James H. Foote, 211 South 
Perry street, first engaged as a manufacturer in 1888. A few other 
names might be added but lack of space prevents detailed mention. 

Leather Manufacturers. — ^J. Q. Adams, manufacturer of glove leather, 
is located at 9, 11, 13 Adams avenue. He first engaged in this busi- 
ness in 1864, doing beam work and Indian dressing only. He was at 
that time located in a shop on West Fulton street where he remained 
about four years, removing thence to the rear of 5 Green street, where 
he had a small shop in which he did Indian dressing and also dealt in. 



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LEATHER MANUFACTURERS. 305 

skins. In 1875 he erected a leather mill on the property and operated 
it for fourteen years. It was burned in March, 1891, some years after 
Mr. Adams had vacated it. In August, 1866, he purchased the prop- 
erty known as the " Webber Mill " and this, with several large additions, 
constitutes his present plant. The main structure is 120 feet in length, 
50 feet in width and three and a half stories high. A beam shop 
built in 1888, 30 by 50 feet, contains sixteen vats. During the winter 
of 1891 an addition 30 by 76 was built on the south and is used as a 
wareroom, for storing the skins in the raw state. On the west side of 
the mill is another storehouse 25 by 70 in area, for the storing of oil 
and unfinished skins. There is also a beam shop with eighteen vats 
located at 29 Beaver street which also furnishes skins for this mill. The 
latter is fully equipped with stocks, drums, paddles, etc., for tanning and 
coloring ; also breaking, staking and finishing machines for the more 
advanced stages of the process, and the large dry rooms on the third 
floor are fitted with 1,800 feet of steam pipe. It is operated by a one 
hundred horse-power steam engine and a fifty horse-power water- 
wheel. About 400 barrels of oil are used at this mill annually. Em- 
ployment is furnished to forty-five men and the plant has a capacity of 
250,000 to 300,000 skins per annum. The product includes hog, East 
India elk. Rocky Mountain elk, all kinds of deer skins; sheep, horse- 
hide, cow-hide, and the various kinds of goat skins used in the leather 
trade. Mr. Adams was the first man to dress hog- skins with the 
grain on in Johnstown and has been remarkably successful with this 
grade of skins. 

J. V. & C. King, manufacturers of all kinds of glove leather, have an 
extensive plant at the foot of Miller street. This business was begun 
by J. V. King in January, 1867. He began tanning leather in what 
was known as the " Old Swamp Mill " near Gioversville. He remained 
there three years, removing then to the T. W. & I. Miller mill. He 
occupied the latter eleven years and in 1876 received his son, Charles 
King, into partnership. On August 3, 1891, the firm purchased of 
David D. Miller the property they now occupy. The first mill on this 
property burned July 30, 1883, but another was immediately erected to 
fill its place. Disastrous fire again visited the King property Decem- 
ber 28, 1886, destroying the new mill, but the present buildings were 
39 



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3o6 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

erected at once and were in operation in six weeks Tlie main building 
is 40 by 176 in area and three and one-half stories in height, and con- 
nected with it are beam houses and other ntcessarj' buildings. The 
forty-six lime vats have a capacity of 25,000 skins and the whole mill 
is fitted with the most approved machinery for the successful production 
of glove leather. About fifty barrels of egg yolk and four hundrtd 
barrels of oil are used at this mill annually. The plant has a total ca- 
pacity of 300,000 skins per annum. Between forty and sixty workers 
are employed. 

Maylander Bros., dealers in and dressers of glove leather of every 
description, are located on Maple avenue. The firm at present consists 
of L. K. Maylander and William H. Maylander. The business was es- 
tablished by Max Maylander, in 1868. The original mill, built in 1868, 
was 26 by 40 feet in area and two stories high. An addition was built 
in 1877, 20 by 26, and another in 1887, 26 by 40. In 1891 the busi- 
ness had so increased that still another addition, 24 by 40, was necessary, 
and in 1892 still another addition, 26 by 90, four stories. The mill 
contains several large drums and wringing machines, besides other ex- 
pensive and improved machinery used in the manufacture of finer 
grades of kid leather for gloves. Twenty- eight workers are employed 
and the capacity is about 12,000 dozen skins per annum. The product 
includes the various kinds of kid dressed sheep and lamb-skins, and the 
firm make a specialty of the craven tan. Until recently it was supposed 
that this leather could only be made in Europe, but the American 
product is now judged by some manufacturers to be superior to the im- 
ported article. 

Henry D. McConkey, manufacturer of glove and shoe leather, is 
located on Park Place, and receives excellent water power from Caya- 
dutta creek. Mr. McConkey purchased this property in 1889. It 
was known as the "Anderson Mill." He at once began the erection of 
the present mill, which is a frame building 50 by 150 feet in area, with 
an " L," both structures being four stories high with basement The 
mill throughout is fitted with stocks, paddles, drums, breaking, staking 
and finishing machinery of the most improved pattern. The entire 
third floor is devoted to drying the skins and is equipped with the 
Blakeman system, which consists of a 43 -inch exhaust fan and two 



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LEATHER MANUFACTURERS. 307 

banks of steam pipes. The product of Mr. McConkey's mill includes 
buckskin, mocha castors, chamois, yellow and kid leather for gloves, 
and dongola leather for shoes, and its total capacity is about 1,000 
skins per day. 

The Mills Leather Company occupy the "Old Red Mill ". at 
the corner of Washington and Mill streets. This company is com- 
posed of the Mills Brothers, of Gloversville, who began business here as. 
manufacturers of glove leather exclusively, January i, 1892. This mill 
is one of the old landmarks of Johnstown and has a capacity of 300,000 
skins per year. It is fitted with two overshot water wheels which have 
a combined capacity equal to one hundred horse power. 

William Topp, leather and glove manufacturer, is located at the cor- 
ner of North Perry and Miller streets. Mr. Topp began the manufact- 
ure of gloves and the tanning of leather on a very small scale in the 
year 1877, on the site of his present factory. His first specialty was an 
Indian tan, one finger harvest mitten, which was the first time this par- 
ticular leather was ever manufactured into this style. Mr. Topp en- 
larged from time to time his capacity for tanning different grades of 
leather, until his output included shoe kid, dongola goat, kangaroo, calf 
and sheep, calf kid, glove kid, yellow and Indian tan, sheep, lamb and 
calf-skins His first steam leather mill was erected in 1882, and was- 
destroyed by fire September 20, 1887. A new mill was immediately 
built, which shared a similar fate, in August, 1888. The present mill is 
larger then either of its predecessors and was built on the same site. 
It is 40x75 feet in area, two stories high with basement, the tanning 
of the leather taking place in this latter apartment. The drying and 
finishing is accomplished on the upper floors where special machinery- 
is used. The glove factory is a two story building located directly 
west of the leather mill. Thirty workers, including ten cutters, are em- 
ployed in the former, and about fifteen in the latter. Mr. Topp manu- 
factures heavy and light gloves, making a specialty of one finger mit- 
tens, as well as Brazilian beaver fur gloves. In leather he makes the 
yellow and Indian tan, kid, craven tan in both sheep and lamb, and 
white and yellow calf. For the shoe trade he makes among other 
leathers, kid, dongola goat, kangaroo, calf and sheep kid in dongola fin- 
ish. His capacity for tanning sheep stock is 1,200 dozen skins per 



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3o8 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

month. Mr. Topp manufactured about 14,000 dozen pairs of gloves 
and mittens in 1891. 

Guibert & Lauret, leather dressers and colorers, until recently occu- 
pied the Simon Schriver mill at 22 East Green street. This building 
wag burned April 8, 1892. The firm is composed of Eugene A. Gui- 
bert and Louis Lauret, who established the business in 1890. They 
make mocha castors, kid and chamois leather of a superior quality and 
have a capacity of 2,000 skins per week. Thirty- five workers are em- 
ployed in the factory. Prior to embarking in the leather business Mr. 
Guibert had been engaged in the manufacture of gloves with James A. 
Banta in Johnstown for several years, and was conversant with the 
various kinds of glove leather. Mr. Lauret is an experienced leather 
manufacturer, who came to Johnstown from Millau, France, as did also 
Mr. Guibert. The firm are building. a factory larger than the one 
above mentioned, in the city of Gloversville, and they now reside in 
that place. 

Roucoules & Limousin, leather dressers and colorers, occupy a mill 
on Bridge street. The business was established by Emile Roucoules in 
1883. He confined himself at that time to coloring leather and was 
located on East Main street, afterwards removing to a shop on Melcher 
street. In the spring of 1889 the firm erected the mill they now oc- 
cupy. The main building is a frame structure, thirty-two by ninety 
feet in area, three stories high. The tanning, beam work and coloring 
are all done on the ground floor, as is also the finishing of undressed 
kid suede. The upper floors are used for knee staking, finishing and 
drying. They are at present (1892) erecting a three -story 85 x 26 ad- 
dition to their main building, for a coloring shop, which will be com- 
pleted by the middle of June or thereabouts, and will utilize the main 
building for beam work and tanning. Will employ a force of 125 to 
150 hands and will turn out double the work they have been doing. 
The firm manufactures leather for fine gloves almost exclusively, mak- 
ing a specialty of mocha castor. They have recently begun the manu- 
facture of a domestic sheep and lamb-skin, dressed in a castor, which 
they call American castor. Both members of the firm learned their 
trade in France. They employ from fifty- five to sixty operatives and 
turn out about 700 skins per day. 



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LEATHER MANUFACTURERS. 309 

Styir & Behlen, leatlier manufacturers, are located at the rear of 27 
West State street. The members of the firm are John Styer and 
Frederick Hehlen, who established the business in 1884. Their mill is 
a three-storj' frame building^, twenty-two by eighty feet in area. The 
tannin<j is done on the ground floor and fifteen men are employed in 
tile establishment. For the past three years the firm have turned out 
15,000 doztn skins per annum. They dress all kinds of domestic glove 
leather, making a specialty of yellow tan leather and kid. 

Thompson, Lord & Company, leather manufacturers, occupy a square 
bounded by Fulton street. Mill street, the F. J. & G., railway tracks 
and Cayadutta creek. The firm is composed of A. W. Thompson 
and Thomas Lord, both residents of Boston, and their salesroom and 
offices are located at 38 and 40 High street in that city. The firm 
established itself in Johnstown in January, 1890. The dimensions of 
the main building are 30 x 125 feet, three and a half stories high, with a 
tower, brick boiler and engine house and drying sheds. There are six- 
teen vats in the beam house and when completed there will be in opera- 
tion twelve paddles, three drums, and one set of stocks. The second 
floor is devoted to finishing. In this part of the process the staking, 
glazing, breaking and finishing is done, all being accomplished on special 
machinery. The third floor is used exclusively for drying and is fitted 
with a Sturtevant heater and blower. By this S3'stem the temperature 
in the drying room is kept at one hundred degrees Fahrenheit. The 
building is lighted by electricity, and when the new addition and 
machinery are completed and in operation, the plant will have cost 
$20,000. Seventy-five men are employed, and the mill is turning out 
one hundred dozen skins per day. The product consists entirely of shoe 
leather and includes kangaroo calf, seal goat, dull dongola, and glazed 
kid, made from various species of skins. 

E. Ackerknecht, manufacturer of kid leather, is located at 121 Wash- 
ington and 124 Fulton street. This business was established by Ferdi- 
nand Ackerknecht, father of the present proprietor, in 1858. He was 
first located at the corner of Water and Mill streets. His son became 
associated with him about fifteen years ago, and since 1883 he has con- 
ducted the establishment alone. The mill he now occupies was built in 
March, 1891, taking the place of an old mill which was torn down to 



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3IO HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

make room for its successor. The main building is 40 x 60 feet in area^ 
four stories high with garret. The tanning is done on the ground floor 
of the main building, the drying, knee-staking and the finishing is done 
on the second floor, and the arm-staking and fleshing on the third floor ; 
while the fourth is used as a drying and stock room. Twenty workers 
are employed and about 140 dozen skins are manufactured per week. 
The product consists chiefly of domestic lamb and sheep-skins, suitable 
for fine gloves. Mr. Ackerknecht also deals in egg yolk. 

Eli Cool, manufacturer of kid and yellow glove leather, is located at 
41 Cayadutta street. This business was established by Cool & Adams 
in 1872 and continued by them until 1883 when the partnership was 
dissolved and Mr. Cool began on his own account. The mill building 
is 22 feet by 50 with an " L" 55 feet in width, all built of wood and 
three and one half stories in height. Employment is furnished to 
thirteen men and about 5,000 dozen skins were turned out last year. 

Isaac Morris, importer of Ellstatter's glove leather, 16 and 18 More 
block. East Main street, about three years ago established his present 
importing business. He gives his entire attention to imported leather, 
and handles no domestic stock whatever. His specialties include dipped 
leather, colt skins, suedes, and all classes and grades of lamb-skins used 
for ladies' and gentlemen's fine gloves. The leather is commonly known 
among manufacturers as " Ellstatter's " leather, named after the founder 
of the factory, which is located at Muhlburg, Baden, Germany. It is 
now designated as the "Glace Leder Fabrik" and is used by the first 
manufacturers of Europe and America, being noted for its softness, 
mellowness, as well as its beautiful shades of color. Mr. Morris is the 
largest importer of glove leather in America. 

Joseph Vorel, leather dresser, is located at 337 West Main street- 
This business was begun by Joseph Vorel & Company in 1883, and 
continued by them until 1885, when Mr. Vorel left Johnstown about 
five years, acting in the mean time as foreman for different factories in 
various places. He returned, however, in 1889, ^nd re-established the 
leather dressing business under the firtn name of Vorel & Company, 
having as partners his father, Joseph Vorel, and brother-in-law Frank 
Schos. This firm conducted the enterprise two years, when Charles 
Miller was received as a partner, and the firm of Vorel & Miller thus- 



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LEATHER MANUFACTURERS. 311 

formed. This arrangement continued only six months when Mr. Vorel 
purchased his partner's interest and carried on the business alone ever 
since. Mr. Vorel is at present engaged in dressing mocha kid, mocha 
castor, craven tan, domestic kid, fleshers, and imitation of buckskin 
leather. The mill has a capacity of thirty-five dozen per day, and em- 
ployment is furnished to about twelve men. 

John W. Hagadorn, leather manufacturer, operates a mill on Town- 
send avenue. The business was established in 1874 by N. T. Web- 
ber and John W. Hagadorn, in a mill at the foot of Montgomery street. 
This firm continued until 1881, when the partnership was dissolved and 
Mr. Hagadorn has since conducted the business alone. In 1884 he 
rented his present mill of Townsend & Yale, of New York, and in 1889 
purchased the mill and nine acres of ground adjoining. He makes a 
specialty of buckskin leather and turns out between 100,000 and 150,- 
000 deer skins a year, furnishing employment to about twenty- two 
laborers. 

S. E. Walrath, leather dresser, is located at No. 1 1 3 and 1 1 5 Wash- 
ington avenue. He first engaged in the manufacture of leather in 1887, 
having been in the glove business three years prior to that day. In the 
spring of 1889 he erected a frame mill 25 x 50 feet, four stories. To 
accommodate his growing business he built in December, 1891, an ad- 
dition to his mill, and incorporated numerous additional facilities. His 
ground floor is devoted to wringing, tanning and coloring. On the 
second floor is the office, stock and finishing room, and also accommo- 
dations for the knee and arm stakers. The third and fourth floors are 
given up to drying rooms. Employment is given to about sixteen 
workers, and the mill has a capacity of several hundred dozens of skins 
per month. "The product consists of domestic sheep and lamb-skins, 
tanned and colored in all shades. 

John De Garmo, leather manufacturer, is located in the northern part 
of the village between Grove and Mill streets. Mr. De Garmo first en- 
gaged in the leather business in 1890, after having been a prominent 
retail grocer of Johnstown for six years. He occupies two mill build- 
ings ; the engine room, and the wringing and tanning department are 
located on the ground floor of the main building, and on the second 
floor of which the white leather is dried and also the knee and arm 



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3t2 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

staking is done. The cold drying rooms are on the upper floor. The 
hot air drying is effected by circulating steam pipes and an e.vliaust fan. 
The establishment furnishes employment to thirty- five workers, and the 
mill is turning out from 700 to 900 dozen of choice kid skins per 
month. 

The factory of Lebenheim & Company, manufacturers of glove and 
shoe leather, is situated on the west side of Factory street near the foot 
of Montgomery. The business was established in 1881, by E. Nollain' 
& Company, in the mill now occupied by Thompson, Lord & Com- 
pany. In 1885 the firm moved to the old factory building just north 
of their present mill, where they remained about six years. In 1886 
the firm name was changed to Lebenheim & Company, and the build- 
ing they now occupy was erected in 1891. The tanning is done in the 
basement which contains fourteen vats. On the first floor, eleven pad- 
dles and six drums are in operation, with two double sets of stocks. 
The finishing and drying take place on the upper floors of the building. 
Between thirty and forty workers are employed and one hundred dozen' 
skins are manufactured each day. The shoe leather made at this mill 
consists of dry stock and calf, and the glove leather is known as the 
"California tan." 

Matthew Lynaugh, leather dresser, occupies the mill at 325 West 
Montgomery street. This business was begun in 1891, under the firm 
name of Sutliff & Lynaugh. On January i, 1892, Mr. Lynaugh pur- 
chased the interest of W. M. Sutliff and has since then conducted the 
mill alone. It is a two story frame building, 40x70 feet in area, on 
the first floor of which are located seven double sets of stocks for mil- 
ling oil and Indian dressed leather. The upper floor is used for a fin- 
ishing room and coloring shop. The capacity of the mili'is about 80,- 
000 skins per year, which consists principally of buckskin, sheep, and. 
antelope tanned in both oil and fat liquor dressing. 

A. M. Adams & Son, manufacturers of kid leather, are located at 
the rear of I2 East Green street. The business of this firm was estab- 
lished by A. M. Adams, on Water street in 1862, dressing milled, 
leather. He remained there one year when he i "moved to a location 
on West Fulton street, where he received as a partner C. N. Allsworth,, 
the firm being styled Allsworth & Adams. They confined themselves- 



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LEATHER MANUFACTURERS. 315 

entirely to beam work for two years, taking up the manufacture of kid 
the third year. Mr. Adams then moved to Rockwood, where he was 
in the milling business for two years, returning to Johnstown in Feb- 
ruary, 1868. In 1869 he hired a part of the Stewart mill and dressed 
milled leather there for one year. The firm of Cool & Adams was 
then established, the junior partner being Eli Cool, of Johnstown. This 
firm was engaged in buying, dressing and selling kid leather for thirteen 
years. Mr. Cool withdrew in 1883 and Mr. Adams continued the 
business alone until 1 890, when he received as a partner, his son, Frank 
Adams. Father and son are experienced leather workers and to this 
fact is due the gratifying success of their enterprise. The present mill 
was built in 1873, several additions having since been made. Twelve 
workers are employed and thirty to forty dozen of domestic kid are 
manufactured each day. 

John Carncross, manufacturer of oil dressed, Indian tan and yellow 
leather, occupies the Stewart mill at the foot of West Montgomery 
street. This business was established by George Miller and John Carn- 
cross in 1878 on the opposite side of the creek. The firm of Miller & 
Carncross carried on the business until 1880, when C. S. Wemple took 
the interest of Mr. Miller and the firm of Carncross & Wemple was 
formed, and continued until March, 1890, since which time the present 
proprietor has conducted the business alone. This mill was built by 
George Stewart and is fully equipped with' modern tanning machinery 
and appliances and has the advantage of a never failing water-power.. 
Mr. Carncross turned out 150,000 skins during 1891. 

Delos Brower, leather manufacturer, is located at no North Market 
street. He came to Johnstown in 1879 and began business in 1887, in 
John Q. Adams' mill on Green street. Later on he moved to the- 
Schriver mill on the same street, and to his present location in 1891. 
The mill he now occupies was built by Barter & Whitmore in 1887 and 
subsequently passed into the hands of George Maylander, who disposed 
of it to Stone, Timlow & Company. Mr. Brower purchased it in No- 
vember, 1890, and has since made several extensive additions. Reem- 
ploys twenty-six workers and turns out forty-five dozen skins per day. 

Stokes & Getman, dressers of glove leather, are located at 100 Wash- 
ington street. The firm is composed of Oscar Stokes ^nd William. 

40 



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314 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

Getman, who succeeded to the business of John Luther in August, 1891. 
The firm manufactures glove leather from domestic sheep and lamb- 
skins and turn out twenty dozens per day. 

Mark M. Hall, leather dresser, 114 North Perry street, began busi- 
ness in the fall of 1879, iii the " old yellow mill " recently purchased by 
Miller, Argersinger & Company. At present he employs ten or twelve 
men, and manufactured about 60,000 skins during 1891. 

Miller, Argersinger & Company, manufacturers of glove leather, are 
located at the corner of Mill and Water streets. This firm is composed 
of Warren Miller, Leonard Argersinger and C. M. Putnam. The busi- 
ness was originally established by Eli Argersinger and Warren Miller 
in 1874 and was carried on by that firm until 1882. The present firm 
is a consolidation of Miller & Putnam and Leonard Argersinger. They 
occupied the " old red mill," belonging to David A. Wells, for seven 
years, and purchased their present property of John E. Wells in 1887. 
They have since made several additions and improvements and the 
mill is fully equipped with modern machinery. The product in- 
cludes the different classes of skins used in the manufacture of 
gloves and the mill has a capacity for turning out a large amount 
of leather. 

Miscellaneous Manufactures. — Charles B. Knox, manufacturer of gel- 
atine, is located on the line of the F. J. & G. railroad near the foot of 
West Montgomery street. The factory building is 45 by 100, four 
stories high, and was completed in December, 1890, at which time oper- 
ations were begun in the chemical department. The raw material from 
which gelatine is made comes from nearly all the leather mills in the 
county, but the most desirable part of it consists of the skin of calves' 
heads, and a few other portions of the animal which contain gelatine to 
a large degree. It is first washed in clear spring water for twenty-four 
hours, and then placed in a chemical bath which raises the grease to the 
surface, after which it is treated with a solution of lime and soda for 
eight weeks, to remove all impurities. It is then again placed in drums, 
and washed thoroughly in spring water forty. eight hours, which makes 
it as white and clear as a piece of paper. It then goes to the first floor 
where the cooking is done. This process is accomplished in three 
kettles, each having a capacity of one ton of gelatine. It is then drawn 



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MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURES. 315 

off in the form of a liquid and pumped to the cooling room of the third 
floor where, after having gone through four filters, the liquid is drawn 
into metal-lined cooling boxes and is kept at a temperature of fifty de- 
grees. It soon solidifies into jelly and is then taken to the cutting 
room on the same floor where it is cut into sheets about 1-4 inch in 
thickness and then spread by girls on cotton nets to dry. It is then 
placed in the drying room, where with revolving fans and artificial heat 
all moisture is evaporated. This room is kept at a temperature of sev- 
enty degrees in one end and fifty degrees in the other, the sheets being 
moved gradually toward the highest temperature. Then in the form 
of oblong sheets of transparent gelatine, it goes to the fourth floor 
where all perfect pieces are shredded and packed into small boxes for 
table use. Any pieces that are imperfect in color and clearness are 
ground in a large mill and sold as confectioner's gelatine and also for 
decorator's use. The establishment furnishes employment to thirty- five 
workers and the capacity averages one ton of product per day. Mr. 
Knox's gelatine received the medal of superiority over all brands at the 
American Institute fair in New York, held in October, 1891 ; also the 
pure food exposition in Boston in 1891, and the same at Philadelphia 
exposition last year. This is the only gelatine made in this country 
which is positively free from all odor and taste. 

The Brower Glue Manufacturing Company, whose works are located 
on Maple avenue opposite the Maylander mill, succeeded to the busi- 
ness of A. Brower & Son, who had been engaged in the manufacture of 
glue for the past twenty-five years. The company operate two factor- 
ies, one in Johnstown and the other in Gloversville. The manufacture 
of glue in the locality of these two glove manufacturing centers depends 
directly on the glove industry itself. The raw skms that are imported 
to the leather dressers are divested at the beam shops of clippings from 
their fleshy side, in order to make them uniform. These clippings con- 
stitute the glue stock, known to the local trade as "pates." The process 
used in making glue consists chiefly of thoroughly washing and boiling 
the stock, but the fine quality of the product is almost wholly due to 
patented processes and also years of experience. This company, as 
organized in 1888, consists of A. Brower, A. D. Brower, W. W. Brower 
and H. M. Brower. The output of Johnstown factory is about 7,000 
pounds per week. 



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3i6 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

James I. Younglove is proprietor of a planing-mill and lumber yard 
at No. 112-116 North Market street. It is the oldest established 
planing-mill in the county and was built at a time when there were but 
few houses in Johnstown as far north as the mill. The business was 
begun by Spalding & Voorhees in 1856. At that time theWoodworth 
rotary planer was about the only machine of its kind in use, and John 
Gibson, of Albany, controlled the rights for certain territory in this 
state. Spalding & Voorhees were compelled to pay him a royalty of 
twenty-five per cent, of the gross earnings of the machine on all lumber 
planed by it. In 1857 Andrew Spalding withdrew from the firm and 
the Ijusiness was conducted by John H. Voorhees until i860, when the 
firm became Voorhees & Younglove, James Younglove taking part in- 
terest in the concern. Thus it continued until 1870, when Mr. Voor- 
hees withdrew and went to Brooklyn. In 1873 James I. Younglove, a 
son, was received as a partner, and the following year the firm style be- 
came Younglove, Son & Co., by the addition of Amos Hess. In Janu- 
ary, 1884, the present proprietor purchased his partners' interests and 
' has since conducted the enterprise alone. He manufactures sash, blinds 
and doors, and for the past two years has been the only one doing this 
class of work in the county. In connection with the mill he also con- 
ducts a fully equipped lumber yard, and handles lime, cement, and 
sewer-pipe. The mill has a capacity of 25,000 feet per day, and the 
establishment has never been shut down on a working day since it was 
first opened. 

John E. Seaman & Co., 27, 29, 31 and 33 Chestnut street, are con- 
tractors and builders, and deal in all kmds of building material. They 
also operate in connection with their establishment a steam planing- 
mill, in which are manufactured all kinds of mouldings, ceilings, floor- 
ings, doors, sash and blinds, and adjoining the whole is a well- stocked 
lumber yard. The business was established in 1856 by John E. Sea- 
man, the present senior member of the firm. He was located for many 
years at the corner of Smith and Market streets, and moved to his 
present location in 1888. Philemon M. Simmons became a partner in 
1872, after which the firm was known as John E. Seaman & Co., and 
in 1888 James T. Seaman, a son of the senior member, was also received 
into the firm. Messrs. Seaman & Co. have built a great share of 



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MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURERS. 3.7 

Johnstown's finest residences and business buildings, including the 
greater part of the brick blocks on Main street, and many of the hand- 
some dwellings on South William and other prominent thoroughfares. 
Within the past few years the firm has furnished many towns in various 
parts of the state with folding booths for voting purposes, as required 
by the new election law. Notable among these contracts were all the 
booths used in Fulton and Hamilton counties. 

L. Stephenson, general retail lumber dealer, conducts extensive yards 
at the corner of State, Mill and Washington streets. The business was 
established by Mr. Stephenson in 1867, and the venture was fully war- 
ranted by the fact that he had been connected with the lumber business 
in Johnstown since 1855. He has occupied his present location for the 
past ten or twelve years. Aside from a general jobbing trade in all 
kinds of lumber building material, Mr. Stephenson conducts a fully 
equipped planing-mill, which furnishes employment to eight workers and 
is fitted with modern machinery for planing, moulding, scroll sawing 
and turning. Sash, doors and blinds are also manufactured, and con- 
tractors are supplied on short notice. 

Jonah Hess, contractor and builder, 404 West Main street, began 
business in the year 1874 under the firm name of Moyer & Hess. This 
partnership continued three years, when Mr. Hess purchased his part- 
ner's interest, and has since then conducted the business alone. He 
has built many of Johnstown's best residences and public buildings, in- 
cluding the Methodist, Episcopal and Baptist churches, the latter now 
in process of erection. He conducts a well equipped shop, which has 
been enlarged from time to time, and at present contains seven wood- 
working machines, operated by a ten horse electric motor, and furnishes 
employment to six or eight men. The shop has a capacity for turning 
out doors, mouldings, counters and store fixtures, together with other 
general wood-working material. In his building operations Mr. Hess 
furnishes employment to about twenty carpenters. His office and 
warerooms are located at 2 2 Cayadutta street. 

The Royal Knitting Company, 9 and 1 1 South Melcher street, suc- 
ceeded the firm of Potter Brothers in 1891. This business was estab- 
lished in 1884 by E. L. and J. L. Potter, who began making glove sup- 
plies at 23 South William street. After moving to their present quarters 



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3i8 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

in 1889 they at once began the manufacture of yarn mittens. The 
present company was incorporated June i, 1891, with a capital stock 
of $5,000 and the following officers: C. M. Putnam, president; C. H. 
Merrill, vice-president ; E. Bradt, secretary, who with E. L. and J. L. 
Potter, form the board of directors. On June 15, 1891, the company 
began making knit gloves and at present they are turning out about 
twenty-five dozen per day and are furnishing employment to thirty- 
eight hands. 

S. Boehnlein conducts a naptha process mill on Maple avenue, about 
I -4 of a mile north of the Maylander mill. The business was established 
by the Maylanders in September, 1891, who sold it to Mr. Boehnlein in 
January, 1892. The process consists principally of taking the grease 
from skins by chemical preparations. 

The Johnstown Metallic Binding Company was incorporated in 1 890 
with a capital stock of 5,000 and the following officers: Philip Keck, 
president ; Warren Miller, vice-president ; C. M. Putnam, secretary 
and treasurer. They are engaged in the manufacture of metal binding 
for oil cloths with patent adjustable corners. 

Robert R. Sands, jobber in glove colors, occupies a portion of the 
second story of the " old red mill," corner of Mill and Washington 
streets. He began business in 1888 in partnership with Louis Arger- 
singer and that firm continued one year. Mr. Sands employs on an av- 
erage six men and has a capacity for coloring 10,000 skins per month. 

Connelly & Shubert, Factory street, foot of West Montgomery, 
operate a beam shop where skins are frized and scud. They began 
business in 1885 and turn out 30,000 skins per annum. 

Peter Getman has a saw- mill and wood yard at the foot of West Clin- 
ton avenue. He began business in 1884. The saw- mill is operated by 
water power and is the property of the Mclntyre estate. 

Bert Wessel began manufacturing knit wrists for gloves in January, 
1890, and is located at 106 North Market street. 

R. Bfirke & Company, manufacturers of skin mats and rugs, occupy 
part of the Schriver property on North Perry street. The firm is com- 
posed of R. Burke and John Burke who began business in January 1891. 
They turn out 500 rags per week. 

Burke & MuUins, leather dressers, are located on the Schriver prop- 
erty. North Perry street. They began business January i, 1892. 



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AN EXPONENT OF CIVILIZATION. 319 



CHAPTER XXI. 

HISTORY OF KINGSBORO AND GLOVERSVILLE.' 

THE history of any prosperous American city, could it be fully writ- 
ten, would be an interesting contribution to the record of man's 
slow conquest of an unwilling world. 

Modern scientific philosophers have much to tell about environment. 
Even man, they say, is shaped by his surroundings ; he is what he is 
because he is where he is, and he thus bears the stamp and seal of his 
locality. If, however, the average man of even a century ago and a 
citizen of Gloversville to-day should meet at the corner of Main and 
Fulton streets, they would behold much to modify that opinion. They 
would find themselves alike in many points ; but the environment of 
the former would be changed beyond all recognition. The race would 
be improved in many ways, but the whole locality is revolutionized. 

The comparison becomes still more impressive if we take humanity of 
a century earlier. The Indian of the Cayadutta and of the Mohawk 
was the warrior whose desire was to make himself dreaded from the 
Atlantic to the far west. In the arts of peace, however, he appears to 
less advantage. He only utilized the products of the earth as they 
grew, but went no further. Even with the white man's counsel and ex- 
ample, he learned the arts of peace with difficulty. He always bore the 
stamp of his environment, and was therefore in that condition which is 
properly termed savage. 

Civilized man, however, takes possession of the land: utilizes its nat- 
ural advantages and capabilities to the utmost, and supplements its de- 
ficiencies. 

Judged by this standard, Gloversville and the men who made it take 
the highest rank as exponents of civilization. The physical advantages 
of the neighborhood are comparatively few. It has no harbor upon 
lake or sea. No commerce-bearing river flows by its warehouses, or 

1 By Rev. Isaac O. Rankin, of Peekskill, former pastor of the Kingsboro Presbyterian Church. 



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320 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

furnishes power to its mills. No fertile fields yield corn to its store- 
houses. No mines of coal and iron, silver and gold, supply its industry 
with raw material. On the south, a ridge of sand sloping away in hills 
and hollows, clad with yellow pine; on the north, a space of stronger 
land bearing a heavier forest growth and reaching to the foot wall of 
the Adirondack wilderness; in the midst a stream flowing through a 
boggy valley. It is out of such elements that man has wrought his tri- 
umphs, thus creating the city of cheerful homes and busy industries. 
There was tough fibre in the character of the men who wrought this 
miracle of transformation. The strong keen air and pure water of the 
mountain gave them vigor, the biting winters toughened the frame and 
wrought energy and endurance ; but the men and women had an inborn 
force which enabled them to profit by such lessons. The town is their 
creation, under God, who gave them strength and opportunity. Had 
they been less self-reliant and industrious, such a work could never have 
been done ; and some other city would have handled glove leather, and 
perhaps have achieved wealth and distinction for this manufacture. 

To tell this story of the men of Gloversville and their successful con- 
flicts is the purpose of the succeeding chapters of this history, and its 
chief interest will be found in the triumph of civilized man over such a 
discouraging environment. A stalwart and unconquerable race has 
created for itself a city rich both in private comforts and in common 
wealth of interests, on a spot where an earlier people, brave but unin- 
ventive, hunted in the forests and fished in the streams. 

When Arent Stevens and his nine partners purchased the land of the 
Mohawks, and when the Indian trader, William Johnson (not yet con- 
queror at Lake George or Niagara, or a baronet) bought the land of 
this ten, neither they nor he would have selected the site of Glovers- 
ville as the future seat of busy life and power. Johnson indeed made a 
very different choice and laid out his town on the richer lands four miles 
to the south. 

He began a second settlement, however, on the watershed between 
the tributaries of the Mohawk and the Sacandaga, partly within the 
present city limits ; but this had its natural extension eastward, and in 
its connection with the outer world avoided the site of the future city. 
To this lesser settlement, intended to be an outpost toward the wilder- 



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STAGES OF HISTORY. 321 

ness, was given the name of Kingsborough, which had previously been 
applied to the whole patent of twenty thousand acres. Its origin, which 
has given rise to numerous conjectures and not a few myths, was prob- 
ably an expression of honor to the king, just as a neighboring and 
earlier patent to the eastward was called Queensborough, and as John- 
son himself more than ten years later called the royal grant " Kings- 
land." As an Irishman, the peculiar form of the word (borough) would 
be familiar from the title of an Irish nobleman, the Earl of Kingsbor- 
ough, and this perhaps determined his choice. 

The tenants who settled on Sir William's Kingsborough farms, were 
therefore the first white men living upon the site of the present city. 
With them the name of Kingsborough become localized, no longer the 
designation of a wide tract of wilderness, but of cultivated farms. These 
tenant farmers, however, were not the fathers of the present municipal- 
ity. Like their Indian predecessors, they were eventually removed and 
expatriated by war, and their children live far away and under another 
flag. A third and mingled race, from New England, and also Scotch, 
German, and Dutch, came on the great wave of immigration which be- 
gan to flow after the revolution, and were the true fathers of the city. 
Their names are not only household words, but are suggestive of busi- 
ness power, in the city streets today. Their influence is still felt in the 
throbbing life about us, and their history is our inheritance. It was a 
cosmopolitan stock in the best sense of the word ; mingled blood and 
mingled traits of character helping to fashion the men of Gloversville. 
Others came in, and have proved themselves worthy to be sharers both 
of their work and their reward, but these alone are the fathers of the 
city. 

There are four stages of history since man first knew these hills and 
valleys, and we may appropriately call them the Indian, the Feudal, the 
Agricultural, and the Manufacturing periods. The " Oldest Inhabitant" 
can tell us of the third, which he easily remembers, the fourth is still 
in process of development, but the first and second go back beyond 
memory, and hence are not without their inevitable accompaniment of 
myth and legend. 

The story of this immediate locality in the Indian age is almost a 
blank. It was a part of the wide hunting grounds of the Mohawks and 

41 



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322 HISTORV of FULTON COUNTY. 

nothing more. It was not even on the track of the ordinary war par- 
ties, although now and then a band of warriors crossed it on some ex- 
pedition, where for special secrecy an unusual route had been taken. 
Its only memorials are the stone arrow-heads, few in number, which 
have been picked up near this obliterated and almost forgotten track. 

While the central village of the tribe was still at Caughnawauga, near 
the mouth of the Cayadutta, the Indian hunters must have often fol- 
lowed the stream to its head waters. When the efforts of the French 
missionaries were at last successful, and many of the tribe were induced 
to settle in the new Caughnawauga, or La Prairie, at the foot of the 
La Chine rapids of the St. Lawrence, the neighborhood, for a time, be- 
came less frequented. 

Then it was penetrated by a new race. The Indians themselves di- 
minished and degenerated. The settler and the land speculator tres- 
passed more and more upon the hunting grounds, and, gradually, in- 
duced the remnant of the tribe to part with their title The Dutch, 
after more than a century of occupation, were growing strong in the 
lower Mohawk country, while the Germans had found a refuge from 
war and ravage at Stone Arabia and German Flats, and also in Scho- 
harie. 

Speaking of the settlement of the Highland Scotch in Kingsborough, to 
which we shall soon refer, it must be remembered that all the settlers 
in the Mohawk country brought with them the memory of conflicts in 
the land which they had exchanged for the wilderness. It was no 
chance which brought them hither, no mere hope of gain, or purpose 
to " grow up with the country;" but they either came with a high 
purpose, or they were precipitated on this new dwelling-place by tem- 
pests at home. 

The Dutch, whose blood flows in the veins of so many of our people, 
were no inferior stock. It was at the very pinnacle of its greatness that 
the republic of the Netherlands founded its colony in the new world. 
The sons of one of the greatest powers of Europe built Fort Orange 
and New Amsterdam. The victory over Spanish tyranny was at that 
time not only complete, but was recognized as such by even arrogant 
Spain. A few years later Van Tromp was sailing through the English 
channel with a broom at his masthead, showing that, by victories over 



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NATIONALITY OF FIRST SETTLERS. 323 

both Spaniard and Englishman, he had swept it clean. The Dutch re- 
public at this time was an aristocratic commonwealth, and had given its 
colony of Fort Orange (afterward Albany) as a feudal possession to the 
Van Rensselaers. Hence Arent Van Curler and his friends pushed on, 
in 1662, to the Mohawk country, purchasing lands in the " Great Flat " 
of the river and laying the foundations of Schenectady, "the place out- 
side the door," as the Indians called it. Theirs was a movement for 
liberty, and deserves our honor, and this together with all those noble 
elements in the Dutch character which awaken our admiration are the 
inheritance of Gloversville, so far as Dutch blood flows in the veins of 
its citizens. 

So also the Germans, who nearly a century later settled on the 
banks of the Mohawk. Theirs was the land' of the grape on the banks 
of the Rhine, until they became the victims of the lust of war and love 
of cruelty, which characterized Louis the Fourteenth of France, falsely 
called the " Grande Monarque." He was engaged in war with England 
and Germany, and, in one of his campaigns, his armies ravaged the 
Rhenish Palatinate with fire and sword. The land was a desert behind 
them, and thousands were homeless and in destitution. Then Queen 
Anne and her people were moved with pity, and the most needy and 
helpless were transported from the banks of the Rhine to those of the 
Hudson. They founded a colony near Kingston, but did not prosper. 
A separation took place ; one portion settling in Pennsylvania, where 
they are widely known for their peculiar language as the " Pennsylvania 
Dutch," while the other made its way to the Mohawk and the Scho- 
harie valleys, and though less tenacious of the German tongue, is hardly 
less prosperous and respected. Its hero is General Herkimer, and its 
sufferings and victories in the land of its adoption are also the inherit- 
ance of all who partake of German blood. 

At this point we meet for the first time with one of the most remark- 
able characters which America has ever developed. The history of the 
Mohawk country cannot be told without constant reference to the 
career of Sir William Johnson. Born in Ireland, near Dublin, about 
the time that the Palatines on the Hudson were separating for their 
second flight, he was trained as a merchant's clerk, and came to 
America because of a love disappointment. His uncle, Peter Warren, 



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324 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

an officer in the navy, had married Miss Delancey, of New Yorlc, whose 
dowry included wild lands on the Mohawk ; and Johnson came hither 
as his agent. The possibilities of the situation dawned at once upon 
the young man; he took naturally and easily to the untrammeled life 
of the frontier; became fur trader, and land owner; made friends with 
the Indians, and became a chief of the Mohawks ; and thus advanced 
steadily to wealth and influence. He was a type of that class whose 
ambition craved manorial estates in the new country after the usages of 
England, and he was by far the most successful as well as the most de- 
serving. The house where he accomplished most of his work, where 
his children were born, and whence he marched to his victories, is still 
known as " Fort Johnson," and may be seen by every traveler on the 
New York Central railroad. It stands embowered in a locust grove, 
three miles west of Amsterdam. 

With the advance in immigration, and the increasing greed of the 
land-speculator, the tenure of the Indian was evidently near its end. 
The hunter, too, was doomed, for the agriculturalist was reaching con- 
trol. It became a question only how and when any property would 
pass into the hands, of the settlers, and what pittance would be paid to 
its forrn.er owners. This was a question determined too often merely 
by the greed and cunning of the purchaser; but, to Johnson's honor, it 
was by him generally satisfactory to the Indians. 

The territory, part of which forms the site of Gloversville and pur- 
porting to be 20,000 acres, was purchased of the Indians, October 19, 
1752, by Arent Stevens and nine others; and with the confirmation of 
that purchase by the governor, June 23, 1753, begins the feudal tenure 
of the Kingsborough farms. 

The original Indian deed, the petition for confirmation, and the grant 
by the government, may still be seen in the office of the secretary of 
state. The Indian deed is very interesting. It conveys the whole site 
of the present town of Johnstown to the king for the consideration of 
" three peices of Showde" (an inferior kind of woolen cloth, the pre- 
cursor and namesake of our " shoddy "), " six peices of gailing linnen, 
three barrels of Beer, six gallons Rum, and a fatt Beast." The beer, 
the rum and the beast, it will be noticed, are put in capitals, and no doubt 
represented the larger share of the immediate inducement ; although 



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THE FIRST PURCHASE. 325 

winter was close at hand and the " showde " would soon be needed. 
Whether the Indian grantors, Esau-like, simply disposed of some part 
of their birthright for this poor mess of " pottage," or whether in a dis- 
couraged hour they foresaw the end and were glad to get something 
tangible and drinkable for that which was slipping through their hands, 
is a matter of conjecture. Certain it is, however, that the white man's 
land occupation here, as often elsewhere, began with an Indian de- 
bauch. 

The grantors mentioned in this deed are, " Cechehoana, Seth, Hance 
Raiiceer, Abraham Dow, Jacob, Hendrick, Petuis Hance, the Wild 
Deaf Hendrick, Daniel Sayengaraghta, Native Indians, and sole and 
absolute proprietors of the Mohawks in the country of America, and 
also the Province of New York." Their names present an interesting 
combination of Iroquois, Dutch, and English, suggestive of the con- 
fusion of tongues and manners prevailing at that period in the Mohawk 
valley. Only one of their number is famous in the history of the times ; 
this was Hendrick, better known as " King Hendrick," who was one of 
the greatest leaders and wisest counsellors among all the Indian chiefs. 
It was he that chiefly helped Sir William Johnson to hold the Mohawks 
in alliance during the French war, and was killed while fighting under 
Sir William in the battle of Lake George. 

The above mentioned grant is absolute and without reserve, but it is 
neither made to Arent Stevens and his associates nor to Johnson, who 
probably paid the price of purchase; but to "our said most gracious 
sovereign King George the Second," in whose name Stevens and Douw 
Fonda in behalf of the rest, had made the purchase. The Indian sign- 
ers represent the three totems, or family distinctions of the tribe, two 
turtles, two bears, and two wolves. They make their marks in a decid- 
edly awkward manner, affixing each a seal, which in this instance is 
probably that of Johnson, who acted as interpreter, and who seems to 
have had a secret interest in the purchase from the first. He certifies 
over his signature that the Indians knew what lands they were selling, 
and the cloth, the liquor, and the " fatt Beast " had- been properly 
delivered. 

The purchasers represent the average population in the neighborhood. 
They were Arent Stevens, Barent Vrooman, Mathew Ferrall, Robert 



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326 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

Adams, Cadwallader Golden, Junior, John Young, John Sewell, Ephraim 
Arnold, Douw Fonda, and Jelles Fonda. Dutch and English names 
predominate ; one is Scotch, and one probably Irish, but the German 
element is wholly unrepresented. The purchasers were neighbors of 
Johnson in the Mohawk valley. Arent Stevens was his interpreter, 
agent, and messenger among the Indians. Golden was the surveyor 
whose certificate of survey and list of boundaries accompanies the peti- 
tion for the grant, and also the son of the surveyor- general (afterwards 
lietuenantgovernor and acting governor), a man well known in the 
history of the province, and as a botanical collector and student of In- 
dian life. Douw and Jelles Fonda were brothers, prominent as business 
men in the valley, their name being now preserved by the villages of 
Fonda and Fonda's Bush. Jelles Fonda was a major in the provincial 
militia, and did good service in the French and Indian war. He was 
for years a close friend of Johnson, but embraced the patriot cause at 
the outbreak of the Revolution. 

In the original deed the name by which the tract was afterwards 
known is not mentioned, but in the reference to the transaction, and in 
other deeds (in which the boundaries are referred to) it is immediately 
and always called the " Kingsborough Grant." Its location, and the 
quality of a large part of its soil gave it distinction and its importance 
was greatly increased by Johnson's settlement at Johnstown. How long 
Arent Stevens and the ten held the property is not known ; and the 
writer has not been able to find the record of transfer to Sir William. 
It would be interesting to learn what consideration was mentioned in 
the deed, and also its exact date. It is clear, however, that the Kings- 
borough tract was not a royal grant in any other sense than a score of 
others in the valley, and also that it came to Johnson as a purchase, 
and not a reward. All titles in the valley then rested upon royal grants, 
and this no more than others, but Kingsborough, purchased by Stevens 
in 1752, has been confused with Kingsland. granted to Sir WiUiam as a 
special reward in 1769. It seems probable, however, though it cannot 
be proved, that the ten purchasers were originally Johnson's agents, and, 
if this be true, he may in one sense be regarded as the purchaser, even 
although his name was omhted. The government was already jealous 
of the large landholders, of whom Johnson, even before the Kingsbor- 



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yOHNSON'S TENANTRY. 327 

ough tract was granted, was chief, and hence hcenseto purchase Indian 
lands in large parcels was only obtained witli difficulty, which indeed in 
1763 became, by proclamation of the governor, an absolute prohibition, 
so that Johnson's Kingsland estate only came info his possession by 
special grant as an exceptional reward for brilliant service. 

The landholders of Gioversville may be amused to know that their 
property was originally granted by King George " to be holden of us 
and our Heirs and Successors in free and common Soccage as of our 
Manor of East Greenwich, in the county of Kent, yielding at our Custom- 
House, in our city of New York, on the feast of Annunciation of the 
blessed Virgin Mary, commonly called Lady Day, the yearly Rent of 
two shillings and sixpence for each and every hundred acres, except the 
highways," and that it was forbidden to cut trees above a certain size, 
or of a shape suitable for the knees of vessels, all of which were reserved 
for the king's use in shipbuilding. 

Soccage, it may be added, is a feudal tenure, under which the rent is 
fixed and definite. From the old world point of view it was a favor- 
able tenure. It bound Johnson to the king, and he in the same manner 
bound to himself the tenants to whom he granted leases. 

In this point he was highly favored. A body of men to which the 
strictest personal dependence was perfectly familiar, and which was sep- 
arated in language and religion from all other inhabitants of the valley, 
was ready to begin tenantry. They were the Gaelic- speaking Highlanders, 
who, after the ruin of the Pretender's cause at Culloden, had been exiled 
to America. They had been treated cruelly, and did not forget the lesson 
they had learned, but in the breaking up of their clans and the loss of 
their hereditary chiefs they were ready for the control of a man like 
Johnson. 

Macaulay in his history of England, after drawing a vivid picture of 
the Highlands before 174S, expressly compares the inhabitants who 
were the ancesters of the Kingsborough men, to American savages. 
An observer, he says, would have found in the character of the High- 
landers " closely intermingled the good and bad qualities of an unciv- 
ilized nation. He would have found that the people had no love for 
their country or for their king; that they had no attachment to any 
commonwealth larger than the clan, or to any magistrate superior to the 



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328 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

chief. He would have learned that a stab in the back, or a shot from 
behind a fragment of rock, were approved modes of taking satisfaction 
for insults. He would have heard men relate boastfully how they or 
their fathers had wreaked on hereditary enemies m a neighboring valley 
such vengeance as would have made old soldiers of the Thirty Years 
War shudder. He would have been struck by the spectacle of ath- 
letic men basking in the sun, angling for salmon, or taking aim at 
grouse, while their aged mothers, their wives, and their tender daugh- 
ters were reaping the scanty harvest of oats. Yet even here there was 
some compensation. It must in fairness be acknowledged that the patri- 
cian virtues were not less widely diffused than the patrician vices. A 
gentleman of Sky or Lochaber, whose clothes were begrimed with the 
accumulated filth of years, and whose hovel smelt worse than an Eng- 
lish hog-stye, would often do the honors of that hovel with a lofty 
courtesy worthy of the splendid circle of Versailles. When the English 
condescended to think of him at all, and it was seldom that they did so, 
they considered him as a filthy abject savage, a cut- throat and a thief. 
A Macdonald or a Macgregor in his tartan was to a citizen of Edinburg 
or Glasgow what an Indian hunter in his warpaint is to an inhabitant of 
Philadelphia or Boston. Artists and actors " (in the sentimental period 
afterwards) " represented Bruce and Douglas in striped petticoats. 
They might as well have represented Washington brandishing a toma- 
hawk and girt with a string of scalps." The Macdonalds, from which 
clan many of Johnson's Kingsborough tenants came, were among the 
most powerful and warlike of all the Highlanders. To them belonged 
some of the wildest valleys and most inaccessible retreats of Scotland ; 
also the Western islands. Sky and Mull, the valleys of Ben Nevis, and 
the Grampian Hills. Their chieftain claimed the proud title of "The 
Lord of the Isles " and hated the Campbells who had usurped it. A 
maiden of their name and race. Flora Macdonald, had gained fame by 
aiding the escape of the Pretender after Culloden, while the son of an 
exiled clansman became one of the Marshals of France. 

Such were the elements which Johnson brought into his feudal settle- 
ment, and, in their well tested loyalty as well as in their isolation from 
the world, they promised to be all that his ambitipn could require. A 
view of these characteristics and antecedents is necessary to render their 



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JOHNSON AND HIS SWAY. 329 

history understood by readers of the present day. The scheme appeared 
promising, for Johnson was a born leader. His consummate tact, know- 
ing how far to go, and where to stop, when to threaten and when to 
cajole, his real dignity and apparent familiarity enabled him to control 
the Indians as no other man could, and served him almost equally well 
when dealing with his Highland retainers. Their faithfulness to his son 
in the dark days of the Revolution is really a tribute to the father's 
genius The feudal period, however, was brief (less than twenty years 
in all), but while it lasted, the Kingsborough farms were held by loyal 
followers of the chief, sturdy fighters and unquestioning partisans. 

We have no record of home life during this feudal tenure and we only 
know that the men became accustomed to a northern climate and had 
few and simple wants. The land they tilled was rough. Forests were 
to be cleared and crops planted amid the stumps. The grain they 
reaped was carried on horseback along the Indian trail and paid toll 
at the landlord's mill. We hear nothing of schools or even of religious 
service. The first years of their occupation were years of war, which 
left Johnson little leisure for such matters, and the Roman Catholic 
church, of which they were members, was still unorganized in the 
northern colonies. It was more than thirty years before its first bishop 
was ordained, so that it is not surprising if this little flock in the wilder- 
ness was neglected. Close at hand lay the wide forest, with peril from 
savages, but with its attraction for the hunter and the trapper. The 
houses were log huts and their dwellers were deerskin shod, and clothed 
in homespun. 

For Johnson, however, and in some degree for his Kingsborough 
followers, those were glorious and heroic days. He became a great 
military hero and led the savages to the defence of British interests. 
Assisted by the New England men he won the famous victory at Lake 
George, and also captured Fort Niagara. Washington at the south and 
Johnson at the north were the only chieftans who knew the wilderness 
and could meet the enemy on their own ground, and also in the use of 
their own weapons. If their advice had been heeded Braddock's defeat 
would have been prevented and Montcalm would have been deprived of 
his Indian allies, by which that long war would have been far earlier 
brought to a close. Unfortunately it was not heeded. Englishmen 

42 



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330 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

had still to learn how to adapt themselves to a wilderness and to a sav- 
age foe. Washington's time had not yet come, but Johnson soon had 
his opportunity, which he improved. He was rewarded with a baron- 
etcy, which was a high exaltation for a provincial, and also by a liberal 
gift of money, and the confirmation of his title to a wide extent of 
wilderness which he had previously bought of the Mohawks, and which 
was long known as Kingsland, or the Royal Grant. 

The story of Johnson's life is elsewhere told at large in this book and 
only so much of it is recalled here as is required in the outline of the 
earlier days at Kingsborough. Most of the able bodied men of the 
settlement were absent at the war, serving under Johnson's command, 
and hence the labor of clearing and cultivating fell on the few who 
remained at home. Women thus became accustomed to severe out- 
door employment, but they were women of an indomitable spirit and 
bore the burden so bravely that Gloversville may be proud that they 
once occupied this historic spot. 

At last Fort Niagara fell and then Quebec. The troops came home 
again and Johnson, in the intervals of his work of pacifying the Indians, 
began to build his house on the land which he had bought ten years 
previously of Arent Stevens. Honors and rewards fell richly upon 
him and the clansmen shared the honor even if they had but little of 
the reward. 

To picture life during the peaceful days of the Kingsborough settle- 
ment we cannot do better than to follow the children of these same 
Highlanders to their quiet Nova Scotia villages. The martial spirit 
sleeps for want of opportunity, but the old-time simplicity remains. 
The mental action of the community is but little modified by the lapse 
of time, more democratic than of old, for lack, perhaps, of leaders and 
also a cause, but it is isolated from the world, and they are Gaelic- 
speaking Scotchmen still. They are also faithful adherents to the Roman 
Catholic faith, farmers and fishermen whose simple self-dependent life 
presents a striking contrast with the feverish activity of the outer world. 

Ten years of peace followed Johnson's success at Fort Niagara and 
Wolfe's crowning victory at Quebec. The dread of Indian forays ceased. 
The open land again encroached upon the woods. The quiet life of the 
Kingsborough farms promised to become a permanence. The varied 



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COLLAPSE OF THE FEUDAL STRUCTURE. 33 i 

season brought their changes in labor, and they knew no greater excite- 
ment than tiie rnerry- makings at Johnson Hall or the Indian councils 
and the rough Irish games of which Johnson was so fond, with glimpses 
of the visitors of rank and fashion who were so often his guests. Meth- 
ods of farming were improved under his supervision ; improved breeds 
of stock imported ; fruit trees planted and peace and content bade fair 
to make the feudal experiment a success. 

Troubles however were even then rising under all this peaceful sur- 
face. Johnson's son and sons-in-law were men of less ability and far 
less tact than their father, and the power which he held so easily was 
certain to slip from their grasps. The democratic spirit was rapidly 
increasing in the Mohawk valley, and while loyalty to the king was in 
common parlance, there were open threats of opposition to his advisers. 
The Albany Congress of 1754 had opened the eyes of the colonists to 
the possibilities of strength in union, and race prejudices helped the 
growing discontent. 

Just as this spirit of independence reached bold utterance, and rev- 
olutionary discussion became rife, Johnson died. It was fortunate for 
his fame, for it was just before the decisive question could have been 
forced upon him. Men were heard saying that he had killed himself 
because he was afraid to face the choice between the king's cause and 
that of the people. It was a cruel and baseless rumor and only showed 
what extremes can be reached by conjecture. Johnson's degenerate 
son hesitated, temporized, and at last broke his parole, and fled to Can- 
ada, and with him went the loyal Kingsborough tenantry. Under the 
strain of popular revolt the fabric which had been built so carefully in 
the wilderness went to immediate ruin. 

It is not surprising that the elder Johnson's baronial experiment 
should have failed in the hands of his weak and arrogant son. The 
personal force of its architect, and the Highland blood and training of 
the Kingsborough men alone had made this possible. The land was too 
wide for a system of tenantry to which neither the Dutch nor the Ger- 
man took kindly, and still less the New Englander. Hence, the whole 
structure went down; not only from internal weakness, but from irre- 
sistible external pressure. 

It may seem strange that the Highlanders who had fought so fiercely 
to overthrow George Second, should be so ready to take up arms for 



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332 HISTORY OF PULTON COUNTY. 

George Third, but it was really true to character. They cared little for 
the government, but everything for their leader. The old clan instinct 
was as strong as ever. They had few interests in common with their 
neighbors, but they were Johnson's men, and where he went they fol- 
lowed. In the barbarous forays by which Sir John Johnson laid waste 
his native valley, and killed his former friends and neighbors, they bore 
a congenial part. Disguised as savages they shot and scalped, enact- 
ing the Indian role with more than savage spirit, and rendering the 
names of Johnson and Kingsboro detested in the valley. 

In May, 1777, the final Tory exodus took place. The men of the 
settlement had gone to Canada with Sir John in his precipitate flight 
the year previously, but the women and children remained, and the 
settlement became at once the centre of information and the base of 
supplies to the enemy. Spies and messengers came and went. The 
trail along the Sacandaga and through the Adirondack woods was in 
incessant use. Sympathy and supplies were always to be had from the 
loyal Highland women. There were meeting places in the woods 
where swift attacks upon unwary settlers further south and east were 
planned. Agents of the king were active in their efforts to win the 
lukewarm and wavering. Driven out of the other settlements, Kings- 
borough was the beginning of the loyalist's safety on his way to Canada. 
Hence, as viewed by the revolutionary leaders, the whole neighbor- 
hood was a nest of treason. Mihtary force could not be employed 
against women and children, but it was decided that they should be re- 
moved to a place where they could do no further harm. In April, 
1777, it was proposed to arrest and remove all who remained, "to the 
number of four hundred." The matter was discussed by General 
Schuyler with General Herkimer and the Tryon County Committee, 
and became generally known, so that when the troops arrived the ex- 
pected captives were gone. It must have been a painful journey for 
the aged and also for the children, but they were used to hardships; 
and there was no one to record their trials. It was the exodus of a 
people whose very existence has been well nigh forgotten on the lands 
which they cleared and cultivated, and where they hoped to make a 
permanent home. Jacobites in Scotland, and Tories in America, they 
had twice joined their fortunes with a sinking cause. 



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S/GATS OF REVIVICATION. 333 

With them fell the fortunes of their leader. They did their best, 
after their savage fashion, to restore him to his own, but their senseless 
cruelty only made more inevitable his final loss. A Kingsborough Mac- 
donald would have had small chance of life in the Mohawk valley after 
the massacres of Cherry Valley and Schoharie. Popular feeling ran 
high, and too many of the victims survived, with bitter memories of 
what they had seen and suffered. 

All the vast estates of the Johnsons were confiscated. The innocent 
suffered with the guilty. There were to be no more great holdings in 
the Mohawk country, and no more " loyal tenants." Thenceforth the 
freeholder took the place of the soccager, and democracy expelled 
feudalism. 

There was some compensation, however, for both master and men. 
The Johnsons continued to hold office under the British government, 
and received large grants of land in Canada, while the Kingsborough 
fugitives were provided for in Nova Scotia. The cruelties of their 
campaigns will never be forgotten in the Mohawk valley, but let them 
have at least the merit of an unquestioning loyalty. 

Thus ended the feudal period at Kingsborough. The neglected 
fields and ruined houses passed into the hands of the administrator of 
forfeitures, and for a while lay vacant, awaiting the slow processes of 
the law, and the rising of the tide of immigration. It was not however 
a complete relapse into the wilderness. The story of the Johnson lands 
and the Johnson confiscations was familiar to many in New England. 
At Lake George and Ticonderoga, the militia had seen Johnson and his 
Kingsborough troopers, and inquired, with Yankee curiosity, about 
them. The very fact that the farms were partly cleared was an attrac- 
tion at a time when the emigrant's heaviest work was his preliminary 
battle with the forest. Squatters from the neighborhood came and 
took possession. Some few of the former tenants, who were not of the 
Highland blood, found their way back, but for the most part the fields 
lay fallow under the summer sun, and buried by the snows of winter. 
The law continually worked through its tedious processes, and the land 
was sold ; plans of settlement began to be put in operation, and, with 
the newcomers, the enduring life of the locality began. 

After the hard- won triumph of the revolution there was a brief period 
of uncertainty and exhaustion ; and then began that movement of the 



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334 HISTORY OP FULTON COVNTV. 

population westward, which is the wonder of our history. Like the 
bhnd instinct of the bees in swarming time, men in the older states, and 
especially in New England, felt an unconquerable impulse to leave 
home and bear the hardships of the wilderness, and the uncertainties of 
travel through an unmapped land, in order to make their fortunes on 
the newer soil. There was a great faith in the future of the country 
behind those moving wagons, a faith which was too much a matter of 
course to need expression in words, but which sustained men in the 
loneliness of the woods 

In New England " the west " at that time meant the Mohawk valley, 
and also what we now call Western New York, and the journey took 
as long as the present trip to California. The Mohawk valley was then, 
as now, the natural path of western travel, but an eddy of the stream 
turned aside to settle in Jolinstown and on the deserted Kingsborough 
lands. 

This immigration was largely of Anglo-Saxon elements. The Dutch 
and Germans of the Mohawk valley were already dwelling upon richer 
lands, and there was room enough and work enough for all their sons 
at home. The New Englander, however, had seen little of the actual 
fighting in the last years of the war ; his land at home was poor and 
stony; he was naturally restless, and behind him was the ceaseless cur- 
rent pouring into the Atlantic ports from the old world. 

Broadalbin was rehabilitated first, the settlers being chiefly from 
Scotland ; then Mayfield, and then the confiscated lands of Kings- 
borough. The tradition of the household removal is preserved in more 
than one of the older families of Gloversville. The breaking up of the 
old home, the loaded wagon, the farewells at the departure for what 
was deemed a lifelong separation, the slow progress over the hills and 
through the valleys, the nooning while the cattle rested, the camping 
out from night to night," the fording of the upper Hudson, the log 
house, put in repair or built anew, and the slow progress of the settle- 
ment. It may all seem dim to the present generation, but little more 
than a century has passed since out of that school of hardship strong 
characters were developed whose influence we feel to day. Rugged 
endurance and steady thrift alone made success possible in the new con- 
ditions. There were idlers and drunkards then as now, but they were 
not numerous enough to change the character of the settlement. 



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RECKLESSNESS AND FRUGALITY. 335 

It must not be imagined, however, that the new holders of the Kings- 
borough farms constituted in any sense a model community. It im- 
pressed a conscientious spectator of that time as being much above the 
the average of the frontier tov/ns (as we shall have occasion to show 
presently), but it also impressed him as much below the mark in moral- 
ity. Perhaps he was too severe a critic, but there is evidence to show 
that there was wickedness enough to have awakened fears in any 
thoughtful man, for with elements which promised grand success, the 
community suffered from the demoralization which always follows war, 
and also from the recklessness which seems inseparable from frontier 
life. There were men who would rather live from hand to mouth as 
hunters and fishermen, than grow rich by steady industry. Hard drink- 
ing was common, and met but little rebuke. Rum and cider were still 
counted friends of man. The feeble remnant of the Mohawks hung 
about the settlements, and intermarried with the negro slaves. The 
license of the army had corrupted some, as its. discipline and high 
patriotic spirit had uplifted others, and yet the puritan spirit, although 
thus hindered and repressed, was still in the ascendant, as is shown by 
the religious tendencies which soon appeared. 

Land speculation was also one of the public dangers. A few men 
bought and controlled large tracts in the very centre of the settlement, 
and their tenacious grip for long years hindered its growth. They laid 
the foundation of private fortunes, but diverted business from Kings- 
borough to the lower ground, where it still has its center. 

Among the early settlers, the Connecticut influence seems to have 
been strongest. A large element of the population came from the 
neighborhood of Hartford, and especially from West Hartford. They 
brought their Congregationalism with them ; and it is to them that we 
owe the gift of ground which makes the church park at the head of 
Kinoborough avenue. They possessed the Yankee energy and thrift, 

or rather, one is tempted to say these two qualities possessed them. 

It was the Connecticut men who were the tinsmiths, and whose trading 
wagons later on brought the raw supplies of buckskin to the earliest 
tanners and glovers. 

It was really as much an age of household industry as the present, 
for the spinning wheel and the hand loom held the place now occupied 



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336 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

by the sewing machine. In 1824 48,952 yards of doth were woven in 
the town of Johnstown, and every yard of it was done at home. At 
first the roads were few. Supphes were brought from Schenectady by 
the boats on the Mohawk, or on the state road which crossed the town. 
The Hnen and the wool were home-grown, home-spun, home-woven, 
and home-made, and were, it may be added, chiefly worn at home, 
travel being at that time a laborious effort, not to be undertaken with- 
out serious thought and careful preparation, while the excursion trains 
which carry the present inhabitants of the city to Niagara or the sea- 
shore would have seemed as much a fable as Aladdin's lamp. Self de- 
pendence is still the law for the farmer, but it was then the absolute 
law of a successful existence.' Money was scarce, and specie most of 
all, and the continental paper with which the soldiers had been paid 
was nearly worthless. It was a time of barter, rather than of sale ; of 
hard work with imperfect tools ; of waiting for great results ; of laying 
foundations for the success of a later generation. 

We have, fortunately, a census of the population by the most compe- 
tent and careful of observers, Elisha Yale, not indeed at the first settle- 
ment, but in 1803. This was soon enough, however, to give us the 
orifjinal society after the restless element has moved on, leaving a per- 
manent character to the place. Early in May of that year, after six 
weeks' study of the locality with a view to settlement as pastor of the 
church, he thus describes it : " Kingsborough is a pleasant society, 
five by seven miles in extent, about fifty miles from Albany, nine north 
of the Mohawk, containing 233 families, a«d about 1,400 souls. Of the 
families, 191 are of English descent, twenty- three Scotch, fourteen 
Dutch, and five Irish. There are in this church about twenty male 
members ; in the society fifteen Methodist families ; seven Baptist, and 
five families of Friends." 

Fortunately Mr. Yale's choice of a home did not rest upon his ex- 
perience of six weeks' residence alone. He determined to " go West " 
before deciding, and sp^ent some weeks in visiting what he calls the 
" Whitestown country," now Oneida county. He traveled as far as 
Fort Stanwix (Rome), and remarks of that and the neighboring towns 
that "the state of society is very wretched in them all," so that he was 
evidently glad to return to his friendly Kingsborough people. 



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RELIGIOUS INFLUENCES. 337 

Of the families of English descent in the above census, much the 
larger share, as has been already said, came from New England. Most 
of them, indeed, were from Connecticut, and all acquainted with the 
history of that state will recognize such names as Ward, Burr, Mills, 
Bea.ch, Wells, Judson, Giles, Case, Cheadel, Churchill, Gillett, Hosmer, 
Leonard, Potter, Parsons, Steele, Thomas and others. It was indeed 
through the correspondence of the West Hartford people with their 
former pastor, Mr. Strong, that Elisha Yale first came to Kingsborough. 
Others of English descent were chiefly from the counties on the Hud- 
son and other places in the state, including the southern part of Mont- 
gomery county. The names of Burton, Heacock, Peake, Place, and 
Smith will occur to every one as representatives. 

The Scotch came partly from the Perth and Broadalbin settlements, 
and partly direct from the "land o' cakes." The names of Livingston, 
Miller, and Robertson occur in the early records. 

These are but a few out of the many which have come down to us, 
for an exhaustive list is far beyond the scope of an introductory sketch 
of the history of Gloversville, 

The intellectual life of the young community centered for long years 
in its churches, whose story will be told in its appropriate place. It 
was a time of controversy, and the tone of polemics now seems unnec- 
essarily severe ; but it showed at least that men held their beliefs as 
matters of more importance than mere opinion, and also that they were 
willing to defend them at the expense of friendship. House to house 
instruction was then more common than now ; the ministry was held in 
more unquestioning reverence, the school houses were in constant use 
for preaching, and revival after revival brought converts into the church, 
and changed the face of society. There was certainly less distraction, 
and more depth of thought. If the opinions of men seem less liberal in 
this retrospect, they were at least not less sincere. 

There were at first three principal sources of religious influence which 
can be traced upon the records of the infant community. One was the 
Congregationalism of New England, a novelty in that neighborhood^ 
and yet holding from the first a commanding position and even a lead- 
ership. Another was the Presbyterianism which had gained such influ- 
ence in the middle states by its self-sacrificing support of the patriotic 
43 



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338 til STORY OP FULTON COtJNTY, 

cause. This element had from the beginning the sympathy and sup- 
port of the old church in Johnstown, and also of the Dutch Reformed 
church in Mayfield The Scotch, the Dutch, and the immigrants from 
the valley of the Hudson were its natural supporters. A third was 
Methodism, whose enthusiam had been kindled in New York a little 
while before, and had spread like wildfire through the settlements. 
There was soon a " class," and later on a camp- meeting within the cir- 
cle of the Kingsborough farms, and though the fire burned low for a 
season, it never died. The Methodism of that time was more puritan 
than even the Puritans. Its sources of strength were in its self sac- 
rificing zeal for evangelism, and also its genuine democracy. Incident- 
ally it gained adherents as a protest against the rigid and excessive Gal- 
vanism which tinctured much of the current theology. The camp- 
meeting (which it borrowed from the Presbyterian evangelists of the 
south), became a powerful influence, while its circuit preachers pene- 
trated everywhere, and did much to turn the tide against the prevalent 
French infidelity which came in during the revolution. 

We hear no more of the " Friends " whom Pastor Yale found at the 
beginning of the century, but the Baptists increased and have borne a 
large share in the religious life and labors of the community. With the 
growth of the population other elements came in, organized, and have 
also had their share in leavening the pubHc with religious activity, and 
the history of each of these will be found in its appropriate place. 

Among the Congregationahsts Elisha Yale was for half a century the 
commanding figure, and no description of the inception of religion in 
the town would be complete without special reference to his work and 
character. Although deficient in liberal education, he had the instinct 
of scholarship, and a passionate devotion to learning. He made up in 
hard work what he had missed in opportunity and thus became an ad- 
mirable instructor of many pupils. He was so ignorant of every other 
system of church government than the Congregational, that when he 
first came to Kingsborough the Dutch Reformed methods filled him 
with wonder, and yet he became himself a Presbyterian. This openness 
of mind, full as much as the depth of conviction which showed itself to 
every one who knew him, was the secret of his power. His genuine 
reverence, his moral earnestness, his fearless expression of strong be - 



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PASTOR YALE AND THE SCHOOLS. 339 

liefs, his unrivalled method in the business of the ministry, together 
with a wide range of interest in all the movements of the day, and a 
willingness to learn from all, won for him at first respect, and then an 
almost reverent obedience. 

Education was from the first a leading part of the duty of these New 
England people and their like-minded neighbors. The district school- 
house, we are told by Horace Sprague in his " Model Village," was " a 
small wooden structure, built in the year 1800, and stood about a quar- 
ter of a mile west of the Fulton street bridge. The second school- 
house, a commodious brick building, was erected in 18 14, on the 
northwest corner of Main and Fulton streets. The third, a two story 
wooden building, was erected on the north side of Fulton street, near 
the Cayadutta." The earliest of the present buildings, constituting the 
Union Seminary of that day, was built in 1854. Since that time there 
have been constant additions and improvements as the city increased. 
What was then the Central school-house, at Kingsborough, was prob- 
ably built some years before the earliest school-house of " Stump City," 
or soon after 1786; and, at the beginning of the century, we discover 
the whole district system in good working order. In the spring of 
1803 we find the record in Yale's journal of meetings regularly held in 
at least three school buildings in different parts of the neighborhood, of 
which the structure referred to above (as erected in 1800), was probably 
that which he calls "the South school-house." 

Opportunities for higher education were meagre at first, depending 
entirely upon the energy and charity of the young pastor. A year 
after his arrival he had a young man studying with him, and afterward, 
for thirty years, he was constantly a teacher, and his home was a school. 
It added something to his slender income, but it greatly increased his 
cares. He had an enthusiasm for education, and especially for classical 
study, and delighted to share his own hard won attainments. Union 
College, which had been founded in Schenectady in 1795, and which 
enjoyed the presidency of Eliphalet Nott for sixty years after 1804, was 
the natural alma mater of the Kingsborough students, and graduated 
then (as now) many from the neighborhood who have made their mark. 
In this way also the people were kept in sympathy with the larger 
thought beyond their hills and valleys. After the lapse of a quarter 



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340 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

century the work of higher education had evidently grown beyond the 
power of one busy man, and the financial ability of the people had 
grown in a corresponding degree. Pastor Yale then planned a school 
which should better do his work, and, in 1831, the academy was 
founded and an edifice erected which (with enlargements) is still used 
by the Kingsborough Avenue school. Of the record of this institution 
the community may well be proud. It enlarged what the pastor had 
been doing by personal effort. It educated the wives and mothers of 
the people as well as the sons, and its surviving graduates may be found 
all over the land, many of them indeed holding honored places in pub- 
lic service. The names of Calvin Yale and Horace Sprague, its 
teachers, are still remembered with grateful pleasure by the scattered 
pupils, and also by many of our own citizens. After nearly half a cen- 
tury of usefulness the academy was merged into the public school sys- 
tem as a Union Free School, and its higher work is now carried on in 
the High School of the city. 

A natural result of these efforts for education was the beginning of 
the library system. While Pastor Yale, with the help of his people, 
was attempting to supply the needs of the destitute regions to the 
north, the wants of his own flock were by no means neglected. Cir- 
culating libraries of well- selected books were formed, and the pastor 
acted as librarian. It was before the age of light reading, and religious 
works formed a large proportion, but history and general information 
were by no means omitted. Many of the books survive, and the printed 
labelsj with their code of rules show the careful method with which they 
were managed. In the "Farmer's Library'' there was a list of fines 
and penalties for misuse which would delight the modern librarian's 
heart if he could enforce them, as, for instance, " For lending it," (the 
book), "ten cents, and suspension one month. For every letter, figure 
or mark with a pen, two cents; a grease-spot, six cents; every leaf 
through which it penetrates after the first, two cents; a spot made with 
ink, or something similar, five cents ; a leaf turned down, two cents ; 
a leaf torn, ten cents; a leaf torn off, but not lost, twenty- five cents; 
other damages in proportion." Considering the fact that all the mend- 
ing was to be done by the pastor, personally or by deputy, and taking 
into account the cost of books at that day and the value of time to so 



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EARLY RESIDENTS. 341 

busy a man, it must be conceded that the tariff on grease-spots and 
dogears was not unreasonable. Even the-children were not forgotten, 
as books belonging to the "Juvenih'an Library" prove. With the 
founding of the academy a broad foundation for a larger collection was 
laid, and the carefully selected volumes, containing the best works in 
history, travel, and physical science of that day remained in the sphool- 
house until the consolidation of the educational system of the city. 
These beginnings of instruction for the people were a part of the foun- 
dation for the future city : not unworthy forerunners (considering the 
limited opportunities of that day) of the present well equipped and well 
patronized Free Library of the city, whose story will be told in its own 
place. 

The original centre of population of Gloversville, as distinguished 
from Kingsborough, was on the west branch of the Cayadutta, and 
along the line of Fulton street. This is indicated by the position of the 
early school-houses already referred to, as the direction of growth is 
shown by their change to tne eastward at each new rebuilding. From 
the present site of the railroad station to the locality now known as 
Berkshire there were only two houses, one of them occupied by William 
Ward, sr., who owned most of the land on which the present business 
centre of the city now stands. 

Horace Sprague, to whose researches we are indebted for the preser- 
vation of so much information in regard to the early history of the town, 
gives a partial list of the original inhabitants in these two localities, de- 
rived no doubt from those who had been personally acquainted with 
them. " The names of some of the heads of families at the mills," he 
says, "were as follows: James Lard, a magistrate and a person of some 
note ; Job Heacock, ancestor of the Heacocks of Kingsborough ; Jehial 
Griswold ; Benjamin Crosset, a loyalist of the Revolution ; Robert, 
Charles and John Wilson, brothers, with whom lived their mother, the 
widow Wilson and their grandmother, the widow Greig, whose oldest 
son. Captain Greig, was an officer in the American army, whose capture 
by the Indians, as narrated in the story of ' Faithful American Dog,' 
was familiar to every school boy, thirty years ago ; Thomas Mann, 
father of William and John Mann, afterwards favorably knowti in the 
community ; Asa Jones, grandfather of Colonel Harvey Jones ; Rev, 



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342 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

John Lindley, ' minister,' " (from 1797 until about the beginning of the 
century), " of the church at Kingsborough Center " ; Samuel Giles, and 
William C. Mills. Of those living at the four corners, on the hill, the 
more conspicuous were as follows : Daniel Bedford, keeper of a store 
and tavern ; Rev. George Throop, a Presbyterian minister, and George 
B. Throop, an adopted son ; Colonel Josiah Throop, his brother, and 
Rev. William Throop (who preached to a Baptist congregation in West 
Kingsborough) ; and Stephen Hartshorn. " Most of the above named 
families " he adds, " passed away, leaving no trace behind them ; but 
Samuel Giles, William C. Mills, William Ward, and at a later period, 
James Burr, with their immediate descendants, on account of their en- 
terprise, energy and success, are generally considered to have been the 
founders of Gloversville." To these must be added, of course, the 
Kingsborough names which Sprague leaves wholly out of this enumera- 
tion, but which must be considered in any view of the general advance 
of the community; and also many others, who came in and bore- part 
in the new life and progress of the place. 

After 1808 the farm lands, which William Ward, sr., had held in the 
center of the present city, came gradually into market, and the growth 
of population to the eastward began, but in the beginning what is now 
Fulton street was the main street of the village. The first store was 
built on Main street, in 18 18, and was followed by a tavern (The Temp- 
erance House in 1835), by which time the business supremacy of this 
location was fixed. After 1855 catne a sudden expansion and growth, 
which added 1 14 houses to the village in the space of three years. This 
was checked at once by that sudden panic which bh"ghted the hopes of 
the whole country in 1857; but it must have added nearly a third to 
the size of the place, which in 1858 had only 500 dwellings, and 3,000 
inhabitants. 

That growth which seemed so phenomenal to Horace Sprague in 
1858, has continued since then with accelerated speed. The land val- 
ues which he announces with an air of wondering satisfaction, have 
some of them, increaseid tenfold ; while the population has increased to 
15,000 in 1892. Since 1825 there never has been a doubt that there 
would be a thriving center of population and of trade at these upper 
forks of the Cayadutta : but the lad who left the struggling but ambitious 



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PATRIOTISM AND POLITICS. 343 

hamlet of that time would be astonished when returning, while yet in a 
green old age, to find that there had grown up a large, and still enlarg- 
ing, city on the site he knew so well. 

The neighborhood was patriotic from the beginning. Some of the 
original settlers, both of Kingsborough and of the lower mills, had been 
soldiers of the revolution, and were object lessons of patriotism to the 
growing children of the community. Bunker Hill and Saratoga, Val- 
ley Forge and Monmouth, the execution of Andre, and the surrender 
of Yorktown, would seem very real events as they talked with men like 
Giles, and Beach, and Cheadle. A few from the neighborhood joined 
the levies of 1812, but most of them saw only barrack service, or sentry 
duty on the American side of the St. Lawrence. 

When the great struggle for the Union began, it awoke a full re- 
sponse. Public meetings were held, and many volunteered, so that 
Gloversville was represented on the field through the whole war. Some 
left their bones on the battle-field, or died in southern prisons. Some 
returned to keep alive the spirit of patriotic devotion by stories of 
camp life and hard fighting. The thinned ranks of the veterans stood 
about the memorial of the dead, which was erected in the beautiful 
cemetery on the hill in 1890, and year by year they awaken again the 
gratitude and sympathy of the community as they march together to 
lay flowers on the graves of their honored comrades. 

Political excitement ran high in the earlier as it does in the later days 
of the community, and the keen discussions, in public meetings and 
private talk of each campaign, helped the education of the people. 
For many years the Albany Journal, then the oracle of Thurlow Weed, 
was the most widely circulated newspaper, and the weekly arrival of 
that and the opposition sheets were important events. In 1855 the 
first home newspaper, the Standard, was begun, and twelve years later 
the Intelligencer appeared. 

The political history of the locality is lost at first in that of the town 
at large. At the openmg of the record this region was included within 
the limits of Albany county, until, in 1772, Sir William Johnson ob- 
tained a division and organization of Tryon county, with its county 
seat at his new village of Johnstown. After the revolution its name 
was changed to Montgomery in honor of the hero of Quebec; and 
finally, Fulton county was set off from Montgomery in April, 1838. 



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344 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

The town of Caughnawaga was organized March 7, 1788. Five years 
later it was divided into the four towns of Amsterdam, Mayfield, Broad- 
albin, and Johnstown. The post village of Gloversvilie was incorpo- 
rated in April, 1853, and its territory was set off" as a separate road dis- 
trict by act of the legislature in the following year. After swift growth, 
whose story is told in the following chapters, and can only be sketched 
in the barest outline here, it absorbed its former rival, Kingsborough, 
first into its postal territory with free delivery system, in 1887, and then 
into full union, when it became a city, February 19, 1890. 

What the life and occupation of the people was in the old Kingsbor- 
ough days, we can only tell by gathering up such hints and traditions 
as have come down to us on record, or tradition. We know that from 
the first there was a steady and continuous home industry, the loom 
and wheel giving place directly to the sewing machine. We know that 
the Connecticut men were tinsmiths and obtained support from the 
outer world by diligence in business. We find Ezekiel Case in 1803 as 
far west as Cincinnati, bringing home the secret of the Indian tan for 
dressing leather. A few years later we hear that William C. Mills is 
making trips across the state road to the Holland patent, bringing home 
flour and raw leather for the tanners. It was not long before the ped- 
dling wagons, which at first brought home leather taken in trade, began 
to take out gloves and mittens along with the ware ; finding a market 
everywhere among men who were familiar with the ax and plow ; and 
making wider and wider circuits, until, in 1825, a wagon load was sent 
as far as Boston. 

At first the men dressed the leather, and the women made the gloves. 
It was a woman, it is said, who cut out the first pair, and for a long time 
the sex had a monopoly. The leather was stretched on a table, the 
shape of the glove marked out, as children mark out patterns with a flat 
block and a pencil, and the leather was cut with sheep shears. With 
the coming in of Fairbank's invention of the cutting die, greater strength 
was needed, and the men took the place of the women, who found am- 
ple compensation, however, in the use of the sewing machine, which 
was introduced in 1852. 

An interesting glimpse of the neighborhood in 1824 is afforded by 
Spaffbrd's Gazetteer of the State of New York. At this time, we learn, 



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EVOLUTION OF "STUMP CITVr 345 

there was no post-office either in Kingsboro or " Stump City," the 
nearest establislied office being at Johnstown, four miles jway. Speak- 
ing of the township, the writer says, " The present inhabitants are a 
a mixture, rather than a compound, of Yankees, Scotch, Dutch, Ger- 
man, and other immigrants and their descendants, remarkably sociable 
and polite in their manners, and seem to be very industrious and intent 
on keeping pace, in every improvement, with the progress of things 
around them. At Kingsborough, four miles north of Johnstown vil- 
lage, there are two meeting-houses, one for Methodists, and one for 
Presbyterians, and extensive manufactories of tin ware, and leather 
gloves and mittens; of the latter, in 1821, there were made here 4,000 
dozen pair." 

In 1848 Mather and Brockett write of the two villages in their Geo- 
graphical History of the State of New York, as follows : " Kingsboro' is 
another village in the same township, famous for the manufacture of 
deerskin gloves and mittens. It has an academy of some note. Popu- 
lation 400. Gloversville, in the same township, is also celebrated for 
the manufacture of mittens, gloves, and moccasins of buckskin. Popu- 
lation 400." 

This date, then, marks the point of equality between the two villages, 
but Gloversville passed rapidly ahead. The enterprise of the neighbor- 
hood found in that village land which could be purchased at a reason- 
able price ; while the owners on the hill had so serene a faith in the 
future that they were unwilling to sell ; they found water for tanning, 
the stumps had decayed, and a body of citizens had been drawn together 
who were ready to welcome innovations if they promised to advance 
their common or their individual interests. Kingsborough slept on 
through the years, letting its opportunities pass unimproved, and found 
itself, first outgrown, then overshadowed, and at last absorbed, by the 
new city. 

It is in 1 8 16 that the younger of the two villages first appears upon 
the scene, emerging into the clear light of history out of the shadow of 
its elder sister, Kingsborough. It was then content to be called 
" Stump City," from the abundant stumps left by the woodman's ax, 
among which were a few scattered dwellings. By 1828 there were 
fourteen houses amid the stumps, and the place was thought worthy ^ 
44 



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346 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

post office, for which Jeiinison Giles and Henry Churchill suggested the 
name of Gloversville. 

The Baptists and Methodists organized in 1838, the Congregational- 
ists swarmed from the Kingsborough church and made a home for 
themselves in 1852. A colony of Presbyterians from the same prolific 
hive followed in 1858 ; and later on came the organization of the other 
churches of the city, Protestant and Methodist Episcopal, Roman 
Catholic, and Lutheran, whose story is told in its appropriate place. 

The Fulton County Bank was organized in 1852, and the Manufac- 
turers' and Merchants' in 1887. In 1854 the Cemetery Association 
was incorporated, and its beautiful grounds purchased and dedicated. 
The library was founded by public subscription, aided by the generous 
gift of Levi Parsons, in 1880. The Kasson Opera House, or Memorial 
Hall, was opened to public use in 1881. The Young Men's Christian 
Association was organized in 1882, and the Board of Trade in 1890. 

The means of transportation gradually improved. Indian trails gave 
place to roads, and wagons took the place of pack-horses. In 1825 the 
Erie canal was opened, and became the highway of travel, its packet 
boats being a great advantage in speed and comfort over the lines of 
stages which they occasionally superseded. Soon afterward public 
meetings were held and serious efforts were made toward the building 
of a canal from the Mohawk to the Sacandaga, which would have trav- 
ersed the valley of the Cayadutta, and anticipated many of the advan- 
tages of the railroad. The plank road, making the way to the canal 
easily passable for loaded teams at all seasons, was another step in ad- 
vance. Then came the Fonda, Johnstown and Gloversville railroad, and 
penetrated at last the southern gateway of the Adirondacks, having 
been opened as far as Gloversville in 1870. 

In all these years there were vicissitudes in business, seasons of gen- 
eral prosperity, and also years which threatened decadence. Com- 
mercial panics in the great centres were naturally felt by the merchants 
and manufacturers of Gloversville. The war for the Union brought its 
trials and its triumphs. Many strong arms and warm hearts were 
missed from shop and fireside; but the work was doubled for those who 
remained, and the needs of the army gave a great enlargement to the 
trade. There were losses and failures, as there are eddies on the sur- 



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GROWTH AND PROSPERITY. 347 

face of the river; but the course of the stream has been in the main 
unchecked, carrying on its bosom an ever increasing prosperity, and 
still having room for more. 

Of the history thus briefly sketched, it may be said that all changes 
brought prosperity, and that every year opened the door of a new op- 
portunity. The business of the city still gives promise of enlargement. 
It already is world-wide in its scope. Hunters in South and Central 
America, in Africa and India; in Europe, and in Australia, and also 
both east and west in our own land, supply the skins, while the fisher- 
men of Labrador and Newfoundland send oils to dress them. The 
lady's dainty foot is clad in leather of our tanning, while her hands 
are protected by our kids. Yes, and at the same time the miner wields 
his pick, and the lumberman his ax, in mittens from Gloversville. 

The town has already been in harmony with the progress of the 
world. It commands resources everywhere, and pushes its business 
over every line. It takes courage from the lessons and the triumphs of 
the past, and looks with great hopes to the future. Youngest among 
the cities of the Empire State, it does not propose to be least. The 
promise of the days to come is now, as always, in the personal qualities 
of its citizens. If they continue strong and reverent, as of old — if they 
labor with the enterprise and perseverance of the years gone by — who 
shall limit the triumphs which yet await them, in that great conflict 
through which man will master the reluctant world ? 

In the preceding portion of the present chapter the civil history of 
Kingsborough has been given in connection with its pioneer and social 
record. It never had a corporate existence except as it forms a part of 
the city of Gloversville. It had, however, a local water supply com- 
pany, of which Daniel Potter was the originator and chief owner. The 
company is still in existence and furnishes water to the inhabitants in 
the north part of the city. In 1825 a post office was established at 
Kingsboro.i and four years later another about a mile further south, the 
latter called Gloversville. However the name Stump City was continued 
for several years thereafter, and was only dropped when the rival vil- 
lage on the south became of more importance than the pioneer hamlet. 

• The old name (Kingsborough) has been thus far retained in this work, but we now adopt the 
more convenient abbreviation. 



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348 m STORY OF PULTON COUNTY. 

Before leaving our record of old Kingsboro, which was eventnally in- 
cluded within the corporate limits of the now progressive city, we may 
properly furnish the succession of postmasters at that place as follows: 
Abner Johnson, appointed February I2, 1825 ; Lucius F. Potter, April i, 
1834; Isaac P. Harvey, April 9, 1835 ; Daniel Potter, March 19, 1840; 
Isaac P. Harvey, December 17, 1847; Jonathan Wooster, June 6, 1849; 
Daniel Potter, July 22, 1853; Horace Hulett, May 13, 1858; William 
S. Wooster, June 20, 1861 ; George H. Wooster, April 4, 1870; Elihu 
F. Enos, March 2, 1877; James H. Foote, March 29, 1880; Charles 
W. Dennie, February 21, 1881 ; Daniel H. Cole, December 26, 1884; 
Edward G. Cole, October 11, 1886, and who served as postmaster 
until the office was discontinued. 

It would indeed be difficult to accurately state just when Glovers- 
ville became the larger and more important village of the two now in- 
cluded within the same corporation, but so near as we can ascertain it 
had acquired a business advantage as early as 1835, for there were then 
in operation several fairly large manufacturing industries, and its popu- 
lation was rapidly increasing with each succeeding year. As early as 
1830 several streets had been laid out and opened, and although not 
then named as at present, each had its principal industry and was gen- 
erally designated by the proprietor's name. The present Kingsboro 
avenue was then known as the "Johnstown road," which was in fact 
one of the first highways in the region. West Fulton street was called 
the " Bennett's Corners road," as it led west to the hamlet of that name. 
West street was then the "Abram Pool road," and crossing it was a 
highway leading east to Lemuel Gillett's farm called the " Gillett road." 
Elast Fulton street was known as the " Fonda's Bush road," Cayadutta 
street the " Mill Pond road," North Main street the " Kingsboro road," 
South Main street the "Johnstown road," and the narrow lane leading 
west from James Burr's was likewise known as the " Philo Mills road." 
These were the principal thoroughfares of travel fifty and more years 
ago, and under other names they are still in use by the people of the 
locality. With succeeding years and the growth in population and 
business interests new streets were necessary, and twenty years later we 
find Gloversville an incorporated village. 

In 1847 the legislature passed an act providing for the incorporation 
of villages in the state upon petition to the Court of Sessions of the 



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INCORPORATION AND OFFICERS. 349 

county in which they were situated. In pursuance of the act the village 
of Gloversville was incorporated, although there are evidences tending 
to show that an effort in this direction was at least the subject of dis- 
cussion among the inhabitants as early as 1851. The petition to the 
Court of Sessions was presented on the i6th of November, 1852, by J. 
G. Ward, A. S. Shottenkirk and E. L. Burton, petitioneri, and the order 
.of incorporation was at once granted by Judge Johnson, subject, how- 
ever, to ratification by electors residing within the proposed village limits, 
who were directed to vote upon the question on the 14th of January, 
1853. A certificate filed with the county clerk showed that 194 votes 
were cast, of which 119 were in favor of and seventy-five against the 
proposed incorporation. The lands included within the village were 
five hundred and twenty five acres in extent, and contained a resident 
population of 1,318 persons. The number of families was 249, there 
being an average of about six persons to each family, the largest being 
that of Edwin Frisbie with sixteen persons, followed by David Spaul- 
ding with fifteen, E. N. Spencer thirteen, and Alanson Hosmer, J. D. 
Haggart and Smith Lake with twelve each. 

The first village election was held March 15, 1853, and the following 
officers were then chosen : Trustees, Samuel Gilchrist, W. C. Mills, 
William Case, D. S. Frank and Samuel Mills ; assessors, Charles Sun- 
derlin, Duncan McFarlin and Sherwood Haggart; treasurer, Timothy 
W. Miller; clerk, W. D. Sunderlin ; collector, L. C.Washburn; pound 
master, David Wilson. At the first trustees meeting, held March 26, 
William Case was elected president, and Samuel Gilchrist vice-president. 
The second annual election was held March 7, 1854, and resulted in 
the re-election of the first officers with the exception of clerk, R. B. 
Chadsey succeeding W. D Sunderlin. The following year, 1855, the 
officers elected were as follows : Zina Case, Samuel Gilchrist, Robert 
Earl, S. Mills and Sherwood Haggart, trustees ; Rufus Washburn, Will- 
iam Van Vrankin and Charles Sunderlin, assessors ; T. W. Miller, 
treasurer ; John D. Plummer, collector ; Seymour Sexton, clerk ; Isaac 
M. Place, pound master. The next village officers were : T. W. Miller, 
Edward Leonard, Darius C. Mills, Elisha L. Burton and Seymour 
Sexton, trustees; N. J. Burton, clerk ; David Wilson, H. C. Thomas 
and C. J. Fox, assessors ; Jonathan Carpenter, road commissioner ; L. 
C. Washburn, collector; H. C. .Day, pound master. 



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3S0 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

Jonathan Carpenter was elected road commissioner in pursuance of 
an act passed April i, 1854, by which the village was constituted a 
separate road district of the town of Johnstown, although the act 
designated the office as overseer of highways. This allusion, to legis- 
lative action naturally leads us to now refer to the several acts of the 
legislature that have been passed and which have had reference to 
the municipal history of the village and city. By an act passed April 30, 
i860, the village election was directed to be hereafter held on the first 
Tuesday in April, instead of in March, as provided by the law of 
1847. In 1866 another special act enlarged the powers of the cor- 
poration, and authorized the trustees to regulate and control markets, 
to appoint an inspector of wood, and enforce such by-laws and regu- 
lations as should be adopted by them. The first extension of the village 
limits was made under an act of the legislature passed in 1867. This 
act also provided for the election of a police justice and " police con- 
stable." Chapter 821 of the laws of 187 1 (passed April 28) provided for 
the selection of village water commissioners. 

From the time of original incorporation until 1873, Gloversville was 
what has been commonly known as a municipality of the third class, but 
in the year last mentioned it advanced to the second class, being then 
granted a charter under the name of " the village of Gloversville," and 
declared to be " a body politic and corporate." This was done by an 
act passed May 14, 1873, which act provided for the election of a 
president, eight trustees, a treasurer, clerk, three assessors, one po- 
lice justice, one superintendent of streets, sewers, and village property, 
a collector of corporation taxes and three inspectors of election ; also 
for the appointment by the trustees of a health officer and other officers 
authorized to be appointed by the board of trustees. The same act, 
also made provision for a board of health (to comprise the president, 
clerk, and two of the trustees), a police department, commissioners 
of excise and a fire department. The office of superintendent of streets 
was made elective by the act referred to, but in 1878, by an amenda- 
tory act, that officer was to be appointed by the trustees. Another act, 
passed May 5, 1886, again enlarged the powers of the village authorities, 
made elective all offices except clerk, policemen and superintendent of 
streets, but still the village remained a part of the town of Johnstown, 



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THE CITY OF GLOVERSVILLE. 



351 



and was not entirely separated therefrom until the granting of the city 
charter in 1890, the latter constituting Gloversville a city of the " first 
class," having all the powers and liabilities of cities in this state. 

On the 9th of March, 1890, the legislature passed an act to incor- 
porate the " City of Gloversville," by which the former village corpo- 
ration was dissolved. The city was divided into six wards, and election 
of officers was authorized as follows : Mayor, chamberlain, recorder, 
two justices of the peace, two constables, nine members of the board 
of education, five water commissioners, one commissioner of charities, 
and three assessors. The officers directed to be appointed were three 
excise commissioners, one city attorney, a clerk, one. superintendent of 
streets, one chief of police, and policemen (as the common council 
shall determine) and from two to four city physicians. It should be 
stated, however, that an act passed in 1891 provided for the election of 
school commissioners on the second Tuesday in September, instead of 
the day of the annual city election. 

The first mayor of Gloversville was Ashley D. L. Baker, elected in 
1890, succeeded in 1892 by Clark L. Jordan. The first chamberlain 
was J. Frank Davis, who was re-elected in 1892. Jerome Eggleston 
was the first city recorder, and likewise re-elected for a second term of 
office. Ralph Sexton has been twice elected commissioner of charities. 

The foregoing record furnishes a brief municipal history of Glovers- 
ville from the time of its original incorporation as a village to the grant- 
ing of its city charter, the latter resulting in a complete separation of its 
territory from the old town of Johnstown. When first incorporated 
the village population was little more than 1,000, while now the city 
has 15,000 inhabitants, a growth in forty years of nearly fifteen times 
its original number. However interesting would be a detailed history 
of the founding and growth of this remarkable municipality during the 
last half century, the absence of records precludes the furnishing of 
such a narrative, and whatever is known or accessible is fragmentary 
and disconnected. From the original limited area of less than a square 
mile of land there has grown a city of good proportions, and within its 
boundaries is included the old and historic hamlet of Kingsboro. 
The once remote lands of the village have been brought into service for 
building purposes, the results of natural increase in population and the 



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352 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

enterprise of local capitalists. Several years ago a horse railroad was 
put in operation between Gloversville and Kingsboro, but the project 
not proving a financial success was therefore abandoned. More recently, 
however, measures have been adopted for again connecting these points 
by modern means of travel, by constructing a belt line of electric road 
through various portions of the city. However, the most interesting 
part of the history of Gloversville is that recorded in the history of its 
institutions and business interests, public and private, and to those the 
attention of the reader is directed ; but before entering into their detail 
it is proper at this time to furnish the succession of postmasters, as has 
been done in recording the history of Kingsboro.. In Gloversville the 
postmasters, with date of their appointment, have been as follows : 
Henry Churchill, January 29, 1829; Harvey Jones, August 26, 1841 ; 
Henry Churchill, August 6, 1845 ! Lorain Sunderlin, August 26, 1845 ! 
Henry Churchill, May 18, 1847; Elisha L. Burton, June 8, 1849; 
Lloyd H. Copeland, June 15, 1853; Ebenezer R. Mackey, September 
26, 1854; Isaac Combs, February 13, 1855; Elisha L. Burton, May 
30, 1861 ; Esther L. Burton, October 28, 1862; Edward Ward, Jan- 
uary 6, 1871 ; Albert W. Locklin, February 26, 1877 ; George C. Pot- 
ter, February 9, 1891. 

Public Schools of Gloversville. ^ — The first public school-house of 
Gloversville was built of slabs in 1800. 

It stood on the north side of West Fulton street, probably a little west 
of Orchard street, but the exact locality is in dispute. It was removed 
about 181 1 to a spot on South Main street, on land then owned by 
James Burr, opposite the site of the Alvord House. 

Three years later a second school-house was built, this time of brick, 
near the present northwest corner of the Rose block, on Main and West 
Fulton streets. This was a commodious building and was used until 
1836, when it gave place to business structures. 

The third school-house was a two story wooden building which stood 
on the site of the present Martin house at the northwest corner of West 
Fulton and School streets, and gave its name to School street. At the 
end of thirteen years it was replaced by a larger building in which the 
district school was held until the close of the summer term in 1868. 

1 By Prof. H. A. Pratt. 



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THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS. 353 

This building was arranged for three teachers and (somewhat raised and 
enlarged) is known as the Martin House. 

The district known as school district No. 16 of the town of Johns- 
town, included the greater part, but not all, of the corporation of Glov- 
ersville. Its boundaries were somewhat changed from time to time, but 
were never the same as those of Gloversville. 

In 1867 the school was an ordinary district school with accommoda- 
tions entirely inadequate for the school population, and the attendance 
was small and irregular. Many pupils were attending private schools, 
of which there were three in the village, in addition to those at the 
seminary. 

The people were dissatisfied and after some agitation, on December 
30, 1867, the following request was presented to the trustees of the dis- 
trict, Charles C. Bowen, Elias C Burton, and Henry C. Thomas. " We, 
the undersigned, do hereby request that a special meeting of the tax- 
able inhabitants of this school district be called for the purpose of adopt- 
ing measures and obtaining an expression of the minds of such tax- 
payers, in relation to making an application to the legislature to change 
the present system of schools in this district into that of a graded school, 
and for such other business in relation to such object as may come be- 
fore the meeting. [Signed by:] W. J. Heacock, E. Leavenworth, R. 
Washburn, Phillip Graff, W. H. Place, Daniel Hays, J. K. Sexton, G. 
S. Chadbourne, A. Simmons, Wm. C. Mills, M. W. Oderkirk, J. H. Sey- 
mour, A. D. Brower, U. M. Place, V. S. Harmon, N. W. Welch, J. 
McLaren and A. E. Porter." The result was that on February 25, 
1868, at a meeting held in the district school-house, it was voted by 
169 to 33 to change the system of the village schools by combining 
them into a graded school, and to increase the number of trustees to 
nine. At another meeting at the same place March 2, following, the 
new board of trustees was chosen as follows : 

For three years, James H. Seymour, Seymour Sexton, Joseph S. 
Heacock ; two years, U. M. Place, E. Leavenworth, P. R. Furbeck ; 
one year, Daniel Hayes, William H. Place, William A. Kasson. 

On March 9, 1868, the new trustees organized as the Board of 
Education of Gloversville Union Free School, otherwise known as 
District No. 16, and elected W. M. Place, president; P. R. Furbeck, clerk. 

45 



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354 ItlSTORY OP FULTOISt COUNTY. 

The new system began operations May ii, 1868, at the old school- 
house with about lOO pupils, Cyrus Stewart being principal, Miss Lizzie 
Windoes and Miss Mary Wyckoff, assistants. Before the close of the 
term the attendance fully doubled, the corps of assistants was raised to 
five, and an additional building west of the Alvord House procured for 
the overflow. 

Mr. Stewart retired at the close of the term and H. A. Pratt, a grad- 
uate of Yale College, who for the past year had been principal of the 
seminary, succeeded him. 

During the summer negotiations for the purchase of the seminary 
property terminated successfully, the district paying !j5i7,388.88 for the 
same, and on October 25, 1868, the fall term of Gloversville Union 
School began at the old seminary with about 500 pupils under the 
charge of nine teachers, Mr. Pratt being principal and Miss Rhoda 
Waterbury preceptress. The old school- house on School street was no 
longer used for school purposes, and all private schools had been dis- 
continued. 

The school rapidly increased in numbers, 783 pupils having been en- 
rolled during the school year and two teachers added, the average daily 
attendance having been 465. 

As the school grew, new rooms were fitted up from time to time in 
the seminary building, until it contained thirteen, with one recitation 
room. 

These being insufficient to accommodate all the pupils, a three story, 
six room brick building, now known as the south building, was erected 
on the seminary grounds in 1874-75, at a cost, including furniture, of 
about $15,000. 

In 1883 a similar building, now known as the north building, was 
erected at about the same cost, this also being on the seminary grounds. 
In 1888 another six room, three story brick building, now known as the 
Spring street school-house, was erected on Spring street at a cost, in- 
cluding site, of some $17,000. 

In 1 89 1 the Park street street school- house, also a six room, three 
story brick structure, was built at a cost, including site, of about 
$16,000. 

In 1892 $18,000 was voted by the school district for another school- 
house, which will be built on the southwest corner of North Main 



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THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS. 355 

street and Green avenue. This will probably be a two storj', eight 
room building, 

When Gloversville became a city on March 19, 1890, and all the 
territory within its limits became a school district to be known as " The 
School District of the City of Gloversville," it was found that this new 
district embraced nearly all of the former districts Nos. 15, 16 and 
17 of the town of Johnstown, No. 16 being also known as Glovers- 
ville Union School, and No. 17 as Kingsboro Union School. This 
gave the city of Gloversville the old school- house in Kingsboro, for- 
merly occupied by the Kingsboro Academy, containing four rooms 
and a two room building on South Main street, both wooden struct- 
ures. In June 1892, therefore, " The School District of the City of 
Gloversville" owned seven school-houses, containing forty- one school 
rooms, with a seating capacity of upwards of 2,400. These, how- 
ever, were not sufficient to accommodate all the pupils and the dis- 
trict was forced to hire two additional rooms for the overflow. 

In 1 88 1, by special act of the legislature, Gloversville Union School 
became entitled to public money to the amount of $800 a year for a 
superintendent of schools. Mr. H. A. Pratt was elected superintend- 
ent, which office he continued to hold until his resignation. 

In September, 1871, an academic department, subject to the visita- 
tion of the Regents of the University, was opened under the charge of 
George R. Donnan, a graduate of Union College. He served one year 
and was succeeded by Mrs. M. A. Kelley, who held the position until 
1878. 

Other teachers in charge of this department were : Mi.ss Emma J. 
Chriswell, 1878-85 ; Miss Villa F. Page, 1885-86; Miss Jessie Hughes, 
1886-87; Miss Metta L. Persons, 1887-92. They were assisted by 
Mr. A. L. Peck, 1877-88 ; Mr. B. C. Van Ingen, 1888-91 ; Mr. Robert 
J. Hughes, 1891-92; Mrs. E. C. West, 1884-91 ; Miss Mattie J. Law, 
1891-92; Miss Helen Lawn, 1 892. 

In 1885 drawing was introduced into all of the rooms, and has ever 
since been regularly and systematically taught with excellent results. 

Kindergarten work was introduced in 1886, Miss Beulah Gilman, a 
trained kindergartner from the Oswego Normal School, having been the 
first teacher in that department. Miss Gilman proved very capable 



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3s6 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

and the experiment was so satisfactory that, later on, four kindergarten 
teachers were employed at the same time and this has become one of 
the most flourishing departments of the school system. 

The study of vocal music began in 1887, under the efificient super- 
vision of Miss Lizzie Macnee, and has been continued down to the 
present time. 

Mr. Pratt resigned in 1890, after having served continuously in 
Gloversville as principal and superintendent of schools for twenty-three 
years. He, was succeeded by James A. Estee, a graduate of Alfred 
University, who is now superintendent. 

The history of the public school system of Gloversville, since the or- 
ganization of the Union School, is one of continuous growth and pros- 
perity. Beginning the school year 1868-69 with nine teachers and less 
than 500 pupils, the total enrollment for the year was 738, and it has 
steadily increased year by year, until in 1891-92 it contains upwards of 
2,800 pupils, under a superintendent with forty-seven assistant teachers. 

The growth for a series of years is shown by the following extract 
from Superintendent Pratt's last report, which, except for the last year, 
includes residents only: 

Average Number 
Number Enrolled at School 

School Year. as Pupils. Each Day. 

1881-82 1,401 864 

1882-83 1^376 877 

1883-84 1,421 979 

1884-85 1,466 1,005 

1885-86 1,514 1,010 

1886-87 1,605 1,083 

1887-88...., 1,744 1,165 

1888-89 1,938 1,284 

1889-90 2,507 1,720 

The Academic Department, now named the Gloversville High 
School, has also grown steadily under its able corps of teachers and is 
in a flourishing condition. Starting in 1871 with one teacher and less 
than a dozen academic pupils, it now has four teachers and has en- 
rolled during 1891-92, 140 students. Its pupils may take a three 
years' English Course, a four years' Classical Course, or the Regent's 
Academic Course, and may be fitted for the classical or other depart- 
ments of college. 



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PRIVATE SCHOOLS. . 3:,^ 

The "course of study" in the other departments, preparatory to the 
High School, occupies eight years. 

Appended is a list of the presidents of the Boards of Education : 
U. M. Place, Dr. James H. Seymour, Dr. P. R. Furbeck, John Fergu- 
son, James D. Foster, Solomon Jefifers, Dr. Eugene Beach, Dr. Charles 
M. Lefler, F. M. Young, Daniel Hays. 

Private Schools. — In 1849 Miss Emily Corwin opened the first pri- 
vate school (of which there is any account) in Gloversville. In 1850 
Miss Smith, with one assistant, established a select school for young 
ladies, which proved very successful. She was succeeded in the fall of 
185 I by Miss S. E. Roberts (now Mrs. E. R. Churchill), who conducted 
the school for twenty- two weeks, her successor being Miss Sarah Sher- 
man, under whose charge the school continued to flourish. In 1852 
she left for a better position, and was succeeded by Miss Efner. 

In 1853 Miss Bright came to Gloversville, expecting to take the 
school, but the accommodations were so poor that she would not con- 
sent, unless the people would build a suitable school house. A few 
ladies and gentlemen met in the parlors of Mr. Alanson Judson to dis- 
cuss the subject. Other meetings followed, resulting, in the formation 
of a stock company and its incorporation under the name of Gloversville 
Union Seminary. 

The seminary was managed by a board of twelve trustees, four from 
each of the then existing churches, the pastor of each church being 
ex officio a member of this board. The original trustees were as 
follows : 

Congregational — Alanson Hosmer, Alanson Judson, U. M. Place, 
Rev. Homer N. Dunning. 

Baptist — Henry C. Churchill, Henry C. Thomas, James H. Burr, 
Rev. Isaac Westcott. 

Methodist — Harry C. Jones, J. G. Ward, Samuel Gilchrist, Rev. 
Merritt Bates. 

The trustees organized by the election of Mr. Churchill as president 
and Mr. Ward as secretary, and soon after bought about two acres of 
ground on the corner of North Main and Prospect streets for $100, and 
in 1854 erected thereon the building long known as Gloversville Union 
Seminary, now the center building of the three public school-houses on 



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358 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

the same plot. It is a three story brick building, 105 feet long, 51 
feet wide, and was originally intended for a boarding-school for young 
ladies, in connection with a day school for the more advanced pupils of 
both sexes in the village. It was furnished throughout and contained 
accommodations for upwards of fifty boarders, and about 200 day 
scholars. The cost of the building, furniture, etc., was about $21,000. 

The circular issued by the trustees in 1855 contains the following: 

"This Seminary throughout is new : its Buildings, its Apparatus, its 
Instruments, its Furniture are all new, neat, convenient, and as they 
should be. Every window has blinds, every sash a pulley and weights, 
and every room a ventilator. Its apartments are not cells, but high 
and spacious. In every desirable appointment for a school purpose, its 
equal can scarcely be found in the state . . . The Seminary has 
the most ample accommodations for at least forty boarding scholars — 
exclusively female." 

All expenses for boarding pupils, music excepted, were given as $160 
to $180 a year. 

The school was opened September 12, 1855, under the charge of 
Rev. Edgar Perkins, who was its principal for about five years. He 
was succeeded by Fitz Henry Weld, who retired about 1865. Other 
principals were George W. McLellan, 1865-66; R. S. Bingham, 
1866-67, and H. A. Pratt, 1867-68. 

Under the administration of Mr. Perkins the school soon gained a 
high reputation and was well patronized, the rooms for boarders being 
nearly all occupied, while the day school was largely attended and 
proved of great benefit to the youth of the village. The original 
design was not, however, rigidly adhered to, and male boarders were 
soon admitted. 

The school continued to pi-osper during the earlier portion of Mr. 
Weld's administration, but later on for various reasons the boarding de- 
partment dechned, and did not regain its importance under his suc- 
cessors. 

Under Mr. Weld a primary department was established, which was 
continued until the sale of the property. 

Although the seminary was for a time highly prosperous and un- 
doubtedly of great importance to the village, it was never remunerative 



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LIBRARIES. 359 

to the stockholders, and in 1868 the property was sold to the school 
district of Gioversvilie, and ever since has been used for public school 
purposes. 

Since the establishment of the Union Free School there have been 
no private schools of any great size or importance in Gioversvilie. 

Libraries. — The history of the Gioversvilie library, including the de- 
tails of united efforts to provide suitable reading matter for the public, is 
of more interest than many of our citizens really suppose, and hence it 
deserves a prominent place in our history. From books, time worn and 
antiquated, and also from old "regulations" now in possession of the 
Gioversvilie Free Library, it is evident that as early as 1803 and possibly 
even previously, one well organized library association was in existence. 
A bookplate pasted beneath another of later date shows that a small 
association named " Juvenilian Library " supported a circulating library 
which was afterwards united with a larger institution under the corpo- 
rate name of the '' Farmers' Library." Both of these libraries seem to 
have been managed in a systematic and careful manner, for in the regu- 
lations printed on a bookplate (in Robertson's History of America) it is 
required that " This book must be returned on the Friday next succeed- 
ing the Second Tuesday in March, June, September and December, 
three hours before sunset, under penalty of twenty- five cents." There 
are also fines fixed for various damages such as tearing of covers or de- 
facing. The librarian (then no less personage than Pastor Yale himself) 
seems to have examined every book page by page, and he entered on 
the fly leaf every injury the volume had suffered. Few libraries of 
the present day indeed have such tender care. It is also known that in 
1825 Philander Heacock, father of Willard J. Heacock, bought with the 
proceeds of a lottery ticket a .small library which he gave to the Kings- 
boro Sunday-school. Later on the Kingsboro Academy had at one 
time an excellent distinct library which was by far the best in this 
region. 

In 1853 the Young Ladies' Library Association was established and 
though the names of the original members are not all known, it is cer- 
tain that Misses S. M. Wells, Jennie Case, Electa Hildredth (Mrs. Geo. 
Fay), Abby Gillette (Mrs. Charles Fox), Helen Churchill (Mrs Root, of 
Hartford, Conn.), Mary E. Leonard (the late Mrs. Post, of Chicago), 



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360 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

Elvira Champlin (Mrs. A. P. Smith, of Sterling, 111.), Eliza Stevens 
(Mrs Geo. M. Thompson, of Albany), Hattie Judson (Mrs. Seth C. 
Burton), Lucy J. Judson (Mrs. Nahum Grimes, Canandaigua), Lizzie 
Windoes (Mrs. E. R. Bowen, Chicago), were the constituent members. 

Miss Wells held the office of president about four years, and Miss 
Stevens acted as secretary for ten years. 

By-laws were adopted permitting gentlemen to become honorary 
members by the payment of twenty-five cents annually, and then they 
■were entitled to attend the fortnightly gatherings to ;issist the young 
ladies, and sometimes to escort them home. 

The first books were purchased in 1855. As the records have been 
destroyed there is a little difference of opinion as to the amount of 
money invested, but we know that nearly one hundred volumes were 
purchased. Miss Case was the first librarian, and generously allowed 
the books to be kept at her home 

In 1873 a new organization called " The Young Peoples' Library 
Association " sprang up and was in need of books. Hence on April 
9, 1874. at a meeting called by the president (Miss Lucy Judson), and 
composed of directors Deacon Henry Thomas, U. M. Place and John 
McLaren, Misses Case and Judson and Mrs. Lizzie Windoes Tyler, these 
questions were considered, " What shall we do with our books ?" 
" Where would they accomplish the most good ?" 

After deliberation it was decided to loan the books to the Young 
Peoples' Library. A memorandum shows that 66"] volumes were thus 
transferred from the Young Ladies' Library Association to the new 
institution. The Gloversville Young Peoples' Association took a stronger 
hold and extended a greater influence upon the community. Our 
present librarian has been unable to find records of its origin, but it is 
certain that Drs. Furbeck and Beach, C. T. Brockway, now of Syracuse, 
D. F. Cowles and James W. Green were very efficient in organizing and 
sustaining it. Each of the two last named persons saved the institution 
from bankruptcy for a time, the one by a large subscription, the other 
by organizing a lecture course. Mainly through the enterprise of Mr. 
Cowles there was secured the best course of piopular lectures which the 
place has ever enjoyed. But there was at that time no thoroughly 
trained librarian in Fulton county, the old books were not taken proper 



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O-L'iAyiL 



JU (/rAyLjf 




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LIBRARTES. 361 

care of and few new ones were purchased. It is not surprising to find 
how soon a library that secures only a few new books and fails to keep 
up with the issues of the press, will fall behind the wants of the time. 
In spite of noble efforts to sustain it, this library died at last because it 
lacked the main elements of a library's life, viz. : money and a competent 
librarian. The two institutions above named shared the usual error of 
subscription libraries, they never reached the class of persons who 
needed the books most. A subscription library only encourages a 
class of persons who have been trained already to read. A free library 
at once makes a new class of readers from the previously non reading 
classes, and is the only real solution of the library problem. The two 
libraries did, however, a most useful work, being the origin of that pub- 
lic interest in libraries which has sustained the present institution. 

The Levi Parsons Library, the third institution of the kind in Glovers- 
ville, was founded by Judge Levi Parsons, a native of Kingsboro, who 
had spent the greater part of his working years in successful business 
enterprises in California. He was one of the founders of the Whig 
party in that state in 1849, ^'^^ was the first judge appointed in San 
Francisco. While on a visit to Kingsboro in October, 1879, Juf^gc 
Parsons remarked to Dr. Eugene Beach that he would give $5,000 for 
a public library in Gloversville, provided that the citizens would sub- 
scribe an equal amount. This remark lay like a seed unplanted for 
four months, until on February 27, 1880, Rev. William E. Park cas- 
ually remarked at his breakfast table that he heard of such a proposal 
having been made. His mother-in-law, the venerable Mrs. J. W. 
Edwards, immediately remarked : "After breakfast, go right over and 
and see Dr. B.; find out whether Judge Parsons did make that pro- 
posal, if he did, write him at once asking if the offer remains good, and 
have your letter off in to-night's mail." 

The wise suggestion was heeded and the letter to Judge Parsons was 
written the same day. In about a month a letter was received from 
Judge Parsons (then in London) in which he stated that we might de- 
pend upon receiving the $5,000. Rev. Mr. Park laid the offer before 
the ministers of the place, who were then accustomed to meet every 
week, thus forming an association which was a great moral force in the 
community. The ministers promptly published a card in the papers 

46 



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362 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

calling attention to Judge Parsons' proposal, and leading citizens from 
all our churches began to take an interest in the matter. On the 14th 
of April Rev. William E. Park visited Judge Parsons in New York and 
was very favorably received by him; arrangements were completed and 
the draft for the $5,000 reached Gloversville in a few days. There can 
be no doubt that the enthusiasm and zealous energy of Mr. Park, next 
to the generosity of Mr. Parsons, did much to found the library. Ever 
since Mr. Park has been an active member of the board of directors and 
chairman of the library committee. 

On Saturday, April 17, the memorable meeting was held in the 
rooms of the Fulton County Bank. D. B. Judson was appointed chair- 
man and Clayton M. Parke secretary. The report of the visit to Judge 
Parsons was presented, and the gentlemen present voted to raise the 
required $5,000. During the meeting great enthusiasm was aroused 
by a telegram that arrived from New York, stating that a much larger 
sum would be given. The sum of $3,810 was pledged in a few 
moments, and four energetic committees secured within a fortnight 
pledges from which the sum of $8,569, was eventually realized. The 
chairmen of these committees were H. C. Day, Aaron Simmons, Sey- 
mour Sexton, E. A. Spencer, and D. B. Judson. 

This effort was soon afterwards incorporated under the " Act of May 
15, 1875, of the State of New York for the Incorporation of Library 
Societies." A library association was organized in which each donor 
secured a year's membership for every $2 of his subscription, and there 
was formed at the same time the board of directors, which, remaining 
in principle unchanged to the present day, has always been the working 
force of the library. The official members of this body consisted of 
the president of the village and the principal of the public school, to 
whom were added the pastors of the six churches of Gloversville and 
Kingsboro. Later on twelve additional directors were elected. The 
late Alanson Judson, who, next to Judge Parsons, had been the largest 
subscriber to the project, was made the first president and held the 
office during the remainder of his Hfe. Daniel B. Judson was elected 
vice-president, and Clayton M. Parke, secretary. A constitution and 
by-laws were framed and adopted. A very important step was taken 
in the selection of Prof. A. L. Peck, then a teacher in the Academic 



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LIBRARIES. 363 

department of the public school, for the important position of librarian. 
On July 26 following, D. B. Judson, Rev. H. C. Farrar, Rev. H. A. 
Cordo, Rev. W. E. Park and the librarian went to New York and did a 
hard week's work in the book stores, selecting and purchasing 3,262 
volumes with which the institution afterwards began its work. In ad- 
dition to the above the library received 714 volumes from the defunct 
Gloversville Young People's Association. 

The great task of preparing these books for distribution was per- 
formed by Professor Peck and his assistants, and occupied nearly all 
their time for four and a half months. Each book had to be collated, 
stamped, labeled, covered, and catalogued. 

The work was begun on August 18, 1880, and on January 3, 1881, 
the printed catalogue was issued and the library was opened to the pub- 
lic during the afternoon and evening of each day, in the room now 
occupied by the Intelligencer office, over the Manufacturers' and Mer- 
chants' Bank. The reading room had been opened, however, during 
the previous November. To persons who had not secured memberships, 
$1 a year was charged for the use of the books, a measure which was 
unavoidable at the time, but which had the effect of closing the library 
to persons not accustomed to read, who did not appreciate books enough 
to pay for their use. A library fee always reserves the institution for 
the educated class, and fences off the non-reading classes, for whom it 
should principally exist. 

Before the library was opened, however, a great accession to its in- 
fluence was made. y. On December 21, 1880, an indenture was executed 
by Judge Levi Parsons, vesting in the trustees of Union College the sum 
of $50,000, the interest of which is to be mainly applied tc the educa- 
tion of young men in Gloversville, Kingsboro, Johnstown and Fulton 
county. The right of nomination to the scholarship rests solely 
with the directors of the library. Thirteen scholarships are provided 
by means of which ninety-seven of our young men have already 
received a liberal education, few of whom would have entertained such 
an expectation without this encouragement. The fund has done its 
first work, while yet its future benefits must be of untold value. The 
library not only furnishes the people with books but holds in its hands 
the key to collegiate education. 



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364 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

For two years the library progressed without a book being lost or 
unnecessaiilj' damaged, and the institution grew in use and favor within 
a certain limited circle, but from his position the librarian saw the 
necessity of pressing the circulation and reaching a new class. The free 
library which he advocated and which was really needed, could not then 
be thought of. Hence as the best means of increasing the usefulness 
of the institution he recommended the reduction of subscription rates 
to library clubs and the formation of such clubs. On December 22, 
1882, the board of directors authorized the clubs, giving a reduced rate 
to a certain number of subscribers. Mainly through the indefatigable 
efforts of the librarian, clubs were formed in all our churches and in 
the public schools, as well as in the largest of our shops. The rate was 
diminished until it rested at fifty cents a year, a price too low to bring 
the institution much income and yet still high enough to exclude those 
who most needed the books. The income from the latter soon increased 
from $187 to $388. This small encouragement, however, was the pre- 
lude to a series of financial disasters, occurring at intervals through the 
next three years. In the summer of 1885 the funds were utterly ex- 
hausted, and temporary relief was obtained by a subscription of $1,200, 
secured with considerable difficulty by the librarian. One-sixth of this 
amount was contributed by Judge Parsons, who in November of the 
following year gave to the library his last donation of $600. In this 
time of distress and poverty, however, several great improvements 
were made. The old quarters were found to be more and more un- 
comfortable, and on February 1 1, 1885, the late Nathan Littauer offered 
to the library rooms in his new building, rent free for one year. The 
courteous proposal was accepted, and on March 13 following, the 
library was opened in the commodious apartments which have been 
used ever since. The friends of the library are grateful to Mr. Littauer 
for the year's rent given. In spite of the scanty means of the institu- 
tion, a new and much needed reading room was secured in 1886. This 
was accomplished largely through the efforts of the librarian, by whose 
earnest solicitations the citizens subscribed nearly $300. An event now 
occurred which brought the library no immediate gain and yet led to 
the most important future results. Largely through the management 
of parties in this place, in May, 1887, » legislative bill was enacted 



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LIBRARIES. 365 

whose main provision was, that any library in the state owning five 
thousand volumes, paying a rental of $300, or owning $4,000 worth of 
real estate, might apply to the trustees of its town for aid to the amount 
of $1,000, for every 15,000 volumes circulated. This bill was framed 
by the librarian after consultation with library officials in other places 
and with many prominent citizens of Gloversville. 

On October 23, 1887, Judge Parsons suddenly died. He was the 
founder of the institution and gave to it in all the sum of $6,800, besides 
books and engravings to the value of $1,000 more. To him alone the 
library owes its share in the Union College scholarship fund and the 
entire right of nominating the beneficiaries The gift really is a wise, 
far-sighted and permanent contribution for the education of young men 
in Fulton county. Judge Parson's early desire for a collegiate educa- 
tion inclined him to make this provision for the young men of his native 
district. He had planned at one time to do far more than this, but his 
services to the library, though falling far short of his original purpose, 
have been very great. 

The year 1888, the brightest by far in the history of the institution, 
opened in gloom and darkness. Debt which had been accumulating 
for a long time, reached the sum of $1,800. All temporary expedients 
to obtain money seemed to be exhausted. An offer to purchase the 
books and furniture of the library was made and the plan of selling it 
out was seriously considered. The directors were not then aware of 
the interest felt by the outside public, and to many of them the sale of 
the property seemed to be a sad but unavoidable measure. 

At this point the utter destitution of the library obliged its managers 
to do what they should have done long before, viz.: go to the public. 
An energetic soliciting committee was appointed and their prompt suc- 
cess astonished all parties. The seed of long continued good library 
management ; the feeling that so much had been done for the people 
with such scanty means ; the fact, rare in a library's history, that not a 
book from a large stock had been lost or unnecessarily injured for eight 
years ; the ceaseless efforts of the librarian to extend the influence of the 
institution by the formation of reading clubs and study classes — all these 
things told in the trial hour. The plan of selling the property grew 
more and more objectionable, and to save the institution many contrib- 



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366 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

uted from the smallest incomes. It was found that the library had a 
root in every family, we might say a rootlet in the heart of every school 
child. After three weeks' hard work the committee reported contribu- 
tions to the amount of nearly $4,000. 

The names of these three men, immortal in the library's history, are 
Seymour Sexton, A. D. L. Baker and Frederick Steele. The direct 
consequence of their efforts was that the use of the library books was 
made free on February 4, 1888. This was a result towards which 
events had been tending for several years ; in fact the course had been 
advocated by the librarian for years, and again recommended by him 
in his annual report read on the previous July. The effect of this step 
was felt instantly. The circulation of the books at once doubled. The 
influence of the library immediately penetrated to quarters where it had 
never before been felt. An entirely new class of readers was formed. 

Steps were taken immediately to change the name to that of Glovers- 
ville Free Library, but the legal forms were not completed until Octo- 
ber II, 1888. Another equally important step was taken at the annual 
meeting in July last, when the library committee recommended that the 
salary of the librarian be increased so as to secure his whole time for 
the institution, enabling him to keep the library open the whole day. 
The debate on the question was shortened by a keen remark from Rev. 
A. W. Bourne, who said : " Gentlemen, it is now to be decided whether 
we will maintain this as a library or run it like a peanut stand." The 
larger view prevailed and the " peanut " policy disappeared forever. 
On February 11, 1889, a long growing public sentiment came to the 
surface, and the trustees of the village generously voted to appropriate 
for the library in accordance with the provisions of the legislative act 
before mentioned the sum of $1,000 for every 15,000 volumes circu- 
lated. 

At the present day the Gloversville Free Library contains more than 
10,000 volumes with an annual circulation of over 45,000, and every 
book is of a pure and useful character. 

The books of the hbrary are classified and catalogued ; every book 
returned is carefully examined before it is permitted to leave the library 
again; all minor repairs are made immediately and all willful mutilation 
is checked by the collection of fines. The result of this systematic and 



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LIBRARIES. 367 

faithful management is that with an issue of 317,562 volumes, during 
the past twelve years not one has been lost. 

The free reading room connected with tlie lib'rary enjoys a great 
patronage and contains the leading dailies and weeklies, as well as all 
prominent monthlies and quarterlies. During the past year it was util- 
ized by nearly 20,000 readers. There is also a free reference library of 
several hundred volumes in constant use, and the institution is growmg 
in appreciation and popularity. 

Private generosity has done a great deal for this educational institu- 
tion ; during the past twelve years the citizens have contributed nearly 
$20,000 ; in addition to this the ladies of the city united their efforts 
and formed a Ladies' Auxiliary Association, whose efforts, increased by 
the proceeds of a very successful fair (held at the then new railroad 
depot) created a permanent fund for the purchase of books. A similar 
fund has been given by Mrs. Sarah B. Place in memory of her husband 
(the late Mr. U. M. Place) who was the main support of the Young 
Ladies' Library of 1853, and in this manner his beneficent plans have 
been carried into execution. 

The library has also been remembered by substantial bequests in the 
wills of two public spirited citizens lately deceased, Mr. Isaac V. Place 
and Mr. Alexander J. Kasson. 

The library management is vested in a board of directors numbering 
twenty-four, twelve of which are elected by the association. An an- 
nual payment of $3 constitutes a membership in the association ; the 
payment of $50 secures a life membership. While the use of the library 
is entirely free to all inhabitants of the city, only members of the associa- 
tion have the right to vote and are eligible to office. There are at pres- 
ent over one hundred life members. 

The board of directors is constituted as follows: Directors for life, 
Talmage L. Parsons, Seymour Sexton, A. D. L. Baker; directors ex- 
officio, the mayor and superintendent of public instruction, the rector of 
the St. John's Church in Johnstown and the pastors of the six Protest- 
ant churches ; directors by election, D. B. Judson, J. S. Burr, C. M. 
Parke, W. J. Heacock, Daniel Hayes, L. Caten, S. H. Shotwell, John 
McNab, W. F. Steele, George M. Place, John L. Gelman, John C. Allen. 
The officers of the association now are : President, Dr. Eugene Beach, 



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^6^ msTORV OF PULTON COUNTY. 

1st vice-president, R B. Parsons; 2d vice-president, C. W. Judson ; 
secretary, E. A. Spencer. Officers of the library are: President, 
Daniel Hays ; vice president, Seymour Sexton ; secretary, C. M. Parke ; 
treasurer, W. D. West; librarian, A. L. Peck; assistants. Miss Jennie 
A. Bailey and Miss Lizzie M. Fosmire. 

The library maintains also successfully free evening classes, various 
reading circles and a centre for University extension. The latter con- 
tained last year 79 members. 

Gloversville Water Works. — The introduction of a systematic and 
practicable supply of pure and wholesome water into a populous com- 
munity is an important event. The first legal measures for such a pur- 
pose in Gloversville were taken in May, 1875. During the year 1871, 
a special act was passed by the legislature, forming a number of citizens 
into a corporation, with full power to introduce water, and a similar act 
was passed in 1873. Some preliminary examinations were made by 
the later organization, but no definite plans were adopted. The neces- 
sity of a supply of water for domestic use and also for extinguishing 
fires was acknowledged by the great majority of citizens, and on May 
25, 1875, in pursuance of the provisions of the law, the board of trustees 
was duly organized as a board of water commissioners with the follow- 
ing officers: John Ferguson, president; Eliphalet Veeder, secretary ; 
C. M. Ballentine, treasurer. A special election was held July 31, 1875, 
which resulted in 273 votes "for the water taxes," and 210 votes 
"against them." From the date of this election until May 7, 1877, the 
time was chiefly occupied in making surveys, examining various streams, 
conferring with persons of experience, and other necessary preliminary 
work. At a meeting of the board on the last mentioned date, it was 
unanimously voted to select the " Poor House stream " as a source for 
the supply. On May 18, 1877, the village board fully complied with 
the law and filed their bond as a board of water commissioners, and 
upon the next day organized with the following officers : President, 
Harvey Z. Kasson ; secretary, A. D. Simmons; treasurer, John Sun- 
derlin ; commissioners, Levi T. Marshall, Purdy Van Wart, Daniel 
Lasher, James H. Johnson, Crosby McDougall, George W. Nickloy. 
During the midst of this commendable activity the village was visited 
by a disastrous conflagration. On May 21, 1877, between midnight 



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THE WATER WORKS. 369 

and 5 A. M., a terrific fire raged through the very heart of the village, 
leaving desolation and destruction in its path. In the brief space of five 
hours, twenty- two buildings were entirely destroyed. The fire origi- 
nated, it is said, in No. 133 Main street and burned everything within 
reach, crossing Church street, consuming two large buildings, one of 
which (a wooden structure) had formerly been occupied as the First 
M. E. Church, and the other, which was of brick, had been used by the 
National Bank. This disaster illustrated more vividly than anything 
preceding it, the great necessity for a sufficient water supply. In June, 
1877, the board advertised for proposals for constructing the works. 
The plans and estimates were made by Peter Hogan, civil engineer, of 
Albany, who continued in the employ of the water board until the work 
was finished. The contract was awarded to Sherman, Flagler & Bab- 
cock, June 26, at $50,243.63. July 3, one week later, work was com- 
menced with C. W. Knight, of Rome, as assistant engineer. 

The work was completed and the water turned on November 16, 
1877, and a public trial and exhibition took place the following week. 
The first application for water was made by John Ferguson, who was the 
first president of the water board. The pipes were first tapped, how- 
ever, for E. Veeder, to supply water for the Veeder block on Main 
street. During the progress of construction some changes were made 
in the plans, making the total cost of construction exceed the original 
estimate. The works as completed in 1887, consisted of three reser- 
voirs and eight miles and 4,904 feet of piping, fifty- two hydrants and 
fifty-one gates. Extensions were made during 1878, at an expense of 
about $10,000, nearly half of which was expended in improving the 
reservoirs. In 1879 there were no extensions made, excepting a small 
pipe to afiford temporary supply for domestic purposes. It was shown 
from the report of Dr. Eugene Beach, health officer for 1879, that 
the death rate for 1875 was 120, while in 1879 it was only fifty-three. 
Undoubtedly much of this decrease in mortality may be attributed to 
other causes, but there can be no question that pure and wholesome 
water contributed to this beneficent result. There are at present five 
reservoirs, as follows: The Poor-house, built in 1877, elevation 280 
feet, capacity 3,000,000; Middle, built in 1877, elevation 281 feet, ca- 
pacity 500,000 gallons; Bleecker, built in 1877, elevation 288 feet, ca- 
47 



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370 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

pacity 1,500,000 gallons; the Potter, built in 1885, elevation 177 feet, 
capacity 10,000,000 gallons; Rice Creek, built in 1889, elevation 245 
feet, capacity 3,000,000 gallons. The total cost of the water works, 
including land damages and construction, up to February i, 1892, was 
$192,508.94. To meet this outlay there has been issued in bonds the 
sum of $155,000, as follows: In 1877, $80,000, bearing interest at the 
rate of six per cent. ; in 1885, $20,000, bearing interest at the rate of 
five per cent. ; in 1889, $55,000, bearing interest at the rate of three per 
cent. There have been paid of the second series in 1886 and 1888, 
$2,500, leaving unpaid $152,500. The present board of water com- 
missioners is composed of J. H. Richardson, president; James W. Fil- 
mer, Charles E. Sweet, Zenas B. Whitney, Marcellus G. Burr. The 
superintendent and clerk is J. B. Tuckerman 

Opera House. — Kasson's Opera House, or Memorial Hall, occupies a 
convenient site on Main street. This opera house was erected in 1880 
by the late A. J. Kasson, at a cost of $70,000, and was opened to the 
public February i, 1881. The theatre has a seating capacity of 1,200, 
and is fitted with modern conveniences. The stage is thirty- three by 
forty- five feet in dimensions, and has all the necessary appointments for 
the display of scenic productions. 

Gloversville Fire Department. — When the disastrous fire of 1877 vis- 
ited the block of wooden buildings located on Main street between 
Church and Middle, Gloversville was in great need of protection against 
such conflagrations. Without suitable water works (as the steps for the 
present supply were then only partially under way) and with nothing 
more than a few buckets in the hands of such citizens as might volun- 
teer their aid, any building which might become thoroughly ignited, 
was almost sure to burn to the ground. The great fire above men- 
tioned awoke the people to a sense of their danger, and within a remark- 
ably short space of time, the village possessed a duly incorporated hose 
company, as well as a hook and ladder brigade. 

The present Neptune Hose Company was organized April 21, 1877, 
under the name of " The A. J. Kasson Hose Company," and included 
the following persons among its charter members : J. K. Belding, E. S. 
Botsford, W. H. Browne, C. W. Brockway, W. F. Cole, H. G. Dewey, 
B. J. Dye, M. D. Kasson, W. E. Lansing, Seymour Lebenheim, A. B, 



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THE EIRE E)EPARTMENT. 371 

Peake, M. F. Button, and M. L. Shaffer. Meetings were held in a room 
fitted for the purpose in A. J. Kasson's barn at the rear of the present 
Memorial Hall. The only apparatus was a chemical engine worked by 
hand pumps. Later on a small amount of hose was purchased and this 
was carried upon the shoulders of the members when called out for duty. 
Soon afterward two hose carts were purchased by the village trustees 
and placed in the care of the hose company and considerable new hose 
was also added to their equipment. 

The first fire after the organization occurred December 5, 1878, and 
destroyed Gorton's block, at the corner of Main and Washington streets. 
The next large fire to which the company was called into service was 
the burning of the Johnson block, on Bleecker street, March 25, 1883. 

The name of the company was unanimously changed from A. J. Kas- 
son Hose Company, to The Neptune Hose Company, July 12, 1882, 
during the foremanship of C. W. Brockway. Shortly after this the head- 
quarters were moved to rooms in the Collins block, on Main street. On 
February 13, 1884, the headquarters were removed to the Miller block, 
where they remained until the completion of the Corporation building, 
in which three large rooms were fitted up for their exclusive use. They 
moved into these elegant apartments in 1887. The company has thirty- 
one members at present and the following officers : Foreman, Charles 
H. Krause; first assistant, Frank Pryne ; second assistant, Herbert L. 
Montanye ; treasurer; Frank J. Titcomb ; secretary, E. A. James ; sur- 
geon, Dr. J. S. Phillips. 

Without going into additional detail it is sufficient to say that the de- 
partment has always displayed a willingness to serve to the best of its 
ability, and deserves great credit for its promptness in responding to 
every alarm. It may also be said that The Neptune Hose Company 
has been very successful in winning prizes at running contests in various 
parts of the state. The most conspicuous of these was the prize of 
$250, won at the state firemen's convention at Herkimer, August 21, 
1 89 1. The distance was 900 feet, make and break, and the running 
time of the Neptune team was 44 f second, beating the next best com- 
pany by one fifth of a second. 

Mechanics' Hook and Ladder Company of Gloversville. — Although 
this organization is no longer connected with the city fire department, 



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372 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

it was for many years composed of the most active fire fighters in the 
village, and has always done gallant service. The company was organ- 
ized May 1 6, 1877, with the following officers : Foreman, L. M. Holies; 
first assistant, Wesley Lyons; second assistant, C. P. Bushman; secre- 
tary, A. B. Pearce; treasurer, Walter Burling. Among the charter 
members were Silas P. Back, John Aucock, Samuel Bellen, Andrew 
Burns, Ed. Collins, James Delamater, P. V. Dwyer, James A. Furbeck, 
James R. Haggart, Abram Hanson, James H. Johnson, W. C. Louns- 
berry, Gustav Lever, Thomas McDermott, Frank Peek, Charles Mead, 
Charles Porter, Charles Phelps, Charles Sunderlin, Henry Jenkins, C. 
Hull, W. Allen, A. B. Bellis, E. R. Van Valkenburgh, Gilbert Van 
Valkenburgh, John Mickel, Charles McCoy, Isaac Graff, C. R. Colder, 
M. J. Orrup, Isaac Shonebergh, E. P. Shove, and possibly a few others. 

The meetings, for several years, were held in the old truck- house at 
the rear of Kasson's Memorial Hall, the rooms being occupied jointly 
by the hook and ladder and hose companies. The company afterwards 
had its headquarters in different buildings on Main street, but moved 
into the Corporation building some time after its completion. During 
the latter part of i8gi a difficulty arose between the members of the 
company and the city authorities regarding certain changes in the man- 
ner of selecting a chief for the fire department, and also concerning the 
maintenance of a team of horses to draw the truck to the place of serv- 
ice and return. These differences resulted in the resignation of the 
Hook and Ladder Company as members of the fire department, on No- 
vember 16, 1 89 1. The company at once assumed the title of The Me- 
chanics' Club and Drill Corps, under which they had been incorporated 
in July, 1890, and moved their furniture and other club property to 
their present commodious and handsomely fitted rooms on the second 
floor of the Helwig block. No. 22 North Main street. The organization 
has since been conducted under the above name and maintains a social 
club and efficient drill corps. 

The successive foremen of the old Hook and Ladder company from 
its organization down to November 16, 1891, with the dates of their 
election are as follows; L. M. Bolles, May 16, 1877 ; Thomas McDer- 
mott, February i, 1879; A. B. Pearce, June 4, 1879; H. J. Jenkins, 
June I, 1880; Charles S. Phelps, August 13, 1880; Charles Mead, 



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THE FIRE DEPARTMENT. 373 

May 3, 1881 ; Charles S. Phelps, May 2, 1882 ; John W. Mickel, April 
I, 1884; Philip Fliegel, May 5, 1885 ; Elisha S. King, May 4, 1886. 

There at present fifty- five or sixty members of the club and twenty- 
seven members of the drill corps, E. S King being president of both. 
The club secretary is George H. Amenta, and the treasurer, Thomas 
Howland. The corps secretary is Herbert Steiner. 

The Glove City Hook and Ladder Company was organized Decem- 
ber 7, 1 89 1, with the following charter members: Charles Fox, fore- 
man ; Will Safford, first assistant foreman ; A. C. Slocum, second as- 
sistant foreman; George H. Junod, secretary; Fred Taylor, assistant 
secretary; Frank Bassler, treasurer; F. E. Freeman, W. H. Downing, 
J. M. Fort, Abram Nellis, Frank Hurdman, Frank Bush, William Loft, 
George Fancher, Peter Ryan, Frank Kelly, Eugene Van Rensler, Albert 
Mills, Philip Fairchilds and Charles Hillery. The company occupies 
convenient rooms in the corporation building fitted for the purpose. 
The present officers are : Foreman, Charles Fox; first assistant fore- 
man, Charles Hillery; second assistant foreman, George Fancher; sec- 
retary, Lester Hoag ; assistant secretary, George H. Junod ; treasurer, 
J. M. Fort. 

The Gloversville Fire Department came into existence December 28, 
1877, on which day a meeting of the board of village trustees was held 
and confirmed the follo\jving officers; Chief engineer, John W. Peek; 
first assistant engineer, A. W. Locklin ; second assistant engineer, John 
S. King, all of whom had been previously selected at a meeting of the 
board of directors. John D. Knight was made secretary and John S. 
King treasurer of the board. 

The positions of chief, and also of first and second engineers, was held 
by the above named persons until May 5, 1879, at which time A. W. 
Locklin was elected chief, J. J. Hanson first, and John Fulton, second 
assistants. At the next annual meeting, held May 3, 1880, the follow- 
ing were elected : Chief, John Fulton ; first assistant, A. B. Pearce ; 
second assistant, M. F. Button. The officers elected May 3, 1881, 
were : Chief, John Fulton ; first assistant, M. F. Button ; second as- 
sistant, James A. Furbeck. No change was made in the above named 
officers in 1882. On May 7, 1883, M. F. Button, C. R. Colder and 
M. L. Shaffer were elected chief, first and second assistants. May 5, 



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3H HISTORY OF FULTON COUNlY. 

1884, Charles S. Phelps was elected chief; C. W. Brockway, first, and 
F. H. Wilmarth, second as!;istants. 

The officers for the year 1885-86 were: Chief, Charles S. Phelps; 
first assistant, C. W. Brockway; second assistants, Fred B. Van Natter 
and E. C. Boyle; 1886-87, cli'ef, E. C. Boyle; first assistant, William 
Carson; second assistant, Philip Fliegel ; 1887-88, chief, P>ank Car- 
son ; first assistant, F. Wurtzenburger ; second assistant, S. P. Back ; 
1888-89, chief, C. W. Brockway; first assistant, S. P. Back; second 
assistant, John E. Dye; 1889-90, chief, E. C. Boyle; first assistant, 
S. P. Back; second assistant, John E. Dye; 1890-91, chief, E. C. 
Boyle ; first assistant, S. P. Back ; second assistant, John E. Dye; 1891- 
92, chief, E. C. Boyle ; first assistant, Archibald Wemple ; second as- 
sistant, William Marriot. The present officers were elected in May, 
1892, and are as follows: Chief, George L. Fort; first assistant, 
Archibald Wemple; second assistant, William Marriot; secretary and 
treasurer, William Marriot. Until within the last year the office of 
chief, as well as all other positions in the department, have been with- 
out salary and the duties have been performed voluntarily. With a 
view of making the department more efficient if possible, the common 
council have made the position of chief a salaried office and he is re- 
quired to be present at the city building during. specified hours. 

Fulton County National Bank. — This institution is a continuation of 
the first bank established in Gloversville. Its history has been marked 
by success and even during general financial pressure, when the great 
majority ofbusiness and commercial institutions felt keenly the prevail- 
ing panic, it has been exceptionally free from embarrassment. It was 
first organized as a state bank, under the name of the Fulton County 
Bank, in the year 1852, with a capital of $100,000, which was increased 
in 1853 to $150,000. The first board of directors was composed of 
John McNab, T. W. Miller, John McLaren, jr., R. P. Clark, W. N. 
Clark, Joseph Blair, Fay Smith, Daniel Christie, Isaac Lefever, Duncan 
McMartin, Daniel I. McMartin, James W. Miller, Alanson Judson, H. 
Churchill, A. Hosmer. Isaac Lefever was made president, T. W. Miller 
vice-president, and John McLaren, jr., cashier. In 1865 the institution 
was reorganized as a national bank, and the name changed to the 
National Fulton County Bank with the following directors: John 



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BANKS. 375 

McNab, Henry Churchill, A. C. Churchill, Alanson Judson, Seymour 
Sexton, William Case 2d, Austin Kasson, James H. Burr, H. C. 
Thomas, T. W. Miller, U. M. Place, D. I. McMartin, James Sumner, 
Stephen Hagedorn and John McLaren. In 1885 the bank, by mutual 
consent of the stockholders, went into liquidation and paid off all obli- 
gations. At the same time the Fulton County National Bank was 
organized with a capital of $150,000, and with the following board of 
directors and officers: John McNab, president; Daniel B. Judson, 
vice-president; Wayland D. West, cashier; Alanson Judson, A. C. 
Ciiurchili, Seymour Sexton, H. C. Thomas, H. Z. Kasson, F. M. 
Young, Daniel Hays, J. R. Berry, W. L. Sporborg, I. V. Place, A D. 
L. Baker, E. L. Heacock. The present officers are : John McNab, 
president; Daniel B. Judson, vice-president; Wayland D. West, cash- 
ier. The board of directors includes the above named officers with the 
addition of A. D. L. Baker, C. W. Judson, Seymour Sexton, Daniel 
Hays, W. L. Sporborg, F. M. Young, L. N. Littauer, James W. Green, 
W. J. Heacock, E. L. Heacock, T. G. Fostor and John C. Allen. The 
following report of the condition of the bank was issued December 2, 
1891. 

RESOURCES. 

Loans and Discounts $955,224 40 

Overdrafts, secured and unsecured 1,954 22 

U. S. Bonds to secure circulation 37,500 00 

Due from approved reserve agents 146,631 50 

Due from other National Banks 71 6 41 

Due from State Banks and Bankers 2,827 17 

Banking House, furniture and fixtures 19,000 00 

Other real estate 504 83 

Current expenses and taxes paid 241 82 

Premiums on U. S. Bonds 5,367 19 

Checks and other cash items 4,808 05 

Bills of other banks 1,696 00 

Fractional paper currency, nickels and cents 187 41 

Specie : ;.. 37,598 50 

Legal Tender Notes .'. . 23,000 00 

Redemption fund with U. S. Treasurer (5 per cent, of circulation) 1,687 50 



Total , |1,238,945 00 



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376 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

LIABILITIES. 

Capital Stock $150,000 00 

Surplus 110,000 00 

Undivided Profits 23,126.33 

National Bank Notes outstanding 32,760 00 

Due Depositors 914,281 45 

Due Banks 8,777 22 



Total $1,238,945 00 

The Manufacturers' and Merchants' Bank was incorporated with a 
capital of $50,000. May i, 1887. Its first president was William H. 
Place, and its first vice president, Cyrus Stewart. Mr. Place still holds 
his office. Mr. Stewart died in April, 1892. Edward Wells was the 
first cashier and was succeeded by M. V. B. Stetson, January 21, 1889. 

The original board of directors consisted of the following persons: 
William H. Place, Cyrus Stewart, J. A. Miller, J. H. Drake, J. A. 
Quackenbush, George C. Burr, Erastus Darling, E. Barton Whitney, 
James M. Thompson and A.- J. Zimmer. Upon the removal of Mr. 
Whitney from Gloversville, his place in the board was filled by D. F. 
Cowles. The present capital of the bank is $100,000. to which amount 
it was increased February i, 1891. Its financial standing is shown by 
the following quarterly report, made December 12, 1891 : 

RESOURCES. 

Loans and Discounts, less due from Directors $308,705 91 

Due from Directors 19,506 70 

Overdrafts as per schedule 1,470 25 

Due from Trust Companies, State and National Banks, as per schedule. . 90,465 69 

Banking House and Lot, as per schedule 13,787 02 

Stocks and Bonds, as per schedule 4,000 00 

Specie 1,899 70 

U. S. Legal Tender Notes and Circulating Notes of National Banks. . . . 13,1C3 00 

Cash Items, viz : Bills and Checks for the next day's exchanges 2,484 95 

Loss and expenses, viz.- 

Current Expenses $38 23 

Interest Account 20 60 58 83 

Furniture and Fixtures 3,101 50 



$458,583 55 



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BOARD OF TRADE— GAS. 377 

LIABILITIES. 

Capital Stock, paid in, in cash $100,000 00 

Surplus fund 10,000 00' 

Undivided Profits, viz.: 

Discount $808 39 

Exchange 153 21 

Other profits 7,300 38 8,261 98 

Due depositors, as follows, viz : 

Deposits subject to check §220,047 77 

Demand certificates of deposit 88,381 17 

Due Treasurer of the State of New York 26,000 00 334,428 94 

Certified Checks 

Due Trust Companies, State and National Banks, as per schedule 5,892 63 

$458,583 55 

The Board of Trade of Gloversville held its first annual meeting at 
Memorial hall, Monday evening, February 17, 1890. It was organized 
with the following officers and managers, which remain unchanged at 
the present time: President, Clayton M. Parke; vice-president, James 
S. Hosmer ; second vice-president, Zenas B. Whitney ; secretary, Will- 
iam C. Mills; treasurer, Charles W. Stewart. Managers, Daniel B. 
Judson, George C. Burr, Philo R. Smith, Hervey Ross, Eugene Har- 
rington, W. E. Leaning, Samuel H. Shotwell, Curtis S. Cummings^ 
Seymour Sexton, James W. Green, Daniel F. Cowles, George M. 
Place. The chief object of the association is to promote the prosperity 
of the city by offering inducements to manufacturing and industrial 
companies and business men to locate in Gloversville ; and also to ad- 
vance and improve the labor interests in every legitimate manner. The 
board has standing committees on manufacture and promotion of trade,, 
on railroads and transportation, on taxation and insurance, laws and 
legislation, statistics and publication, and other important subjects. In 
1890 it published a comprehensive pamphlet, giving a description of 
the condition of Gloversville as a healthy financial, social and com- 
mercial centre. 

Introduction of Gas. — During the years 1856 and 1857, Samuel 
Stewart Mills built and conducted what is now known as the Windsor 
Hotel, located at the corner of East Fulton and Main streets. Mr. 

48 



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378 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

Mills determined to light the hotel with gas and established a small 
resin gas works, under what is now used as a kitchen, and erected a 
4,000-foot gas holder where the barns are at present located. The idea 
was not only to light the hotel, but to furnish gas to some of the 
churches and private houses, and accordingly a pipe was laid on Main 
street, another on West Fulton and one on Bleecker street, connecting 
the houses of those along the route who desired gas. In 1859 the 
Mills brothers (Samuel and Darius), had become interested in several 
business undertakings, and the gas plant was sold to Fox & Demarest, 
livery men, for $5,000. The latter firm secured a lot where the gas 
works are now located and put up two storage holders, of 4,000 and of 
10,000 feet capacity, and also, in addition to the resin process, added a 
patented invention for gas manufacture. The civil war stopped the 
supply of resin (which came from the south), and since then coal has 
been used exclusively. When gas was first made in Gloversville, it 
cost the consumer $10 per thousand feet. Fox Sz: Demarest put in five 
miles of pipe during their ownership of the plant, at a cost of about 
$40,000. In 1870 Mr. Fox died and the junior partner hired his in- 
terest for three years, purchasing it at the end of that time. In 1887 a 
man named Elkins came to Gloversville from Philadelphia and secured 
a franchise from the board of trustees for the purpose of laying pipes, 
and the organization of another gas company. He also went to Johns- 
town and took options on the purchase of the Johnstown Gas Company, 
and sold them to the United Gas and Improvement Company of Phila- 
delphia. The latter company then established itself in Gloversville and 
b^^an competition with Mr. Demarest, laying pipes and furnishing gas. 
In August, 1888, Mr. Demarest rented the Gloversville plant to this 
company for a long term of years at an annual rental of $2,000, giving 
them the use of all the mains and pipes and also a storage tank, the 
latter being used to equalize the pressure of gas throughout the city. 
The company is now known as the Johnstown and Gloversville Gas 
Company, having been reorganized in 1886. The works are located 
just north of the old cemetery on Market street, Johnstown, and the 
company supplies both places with gas, maintaining one office at the 
works and another on North Main street in Gloversville. 

Electric Lighting. — The Gloversville Electric Company was incorpo- 
rated with a capital stock of $100,000, and began business January i. 



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ELECTRIC LIGHTING— PRESBYTERIAN CHURCHES. 379 

1890. The officers of the company are as follows : President, James 
Radford, Gloversville ; vice-president, John Marsh, Cooperstown ; sec- 
retary, Edgar A. Sperfcer, Gloversville; treasurer, Lee B. Cruttenden, 
Cooperstown ; directors, the officers, with Paul T. Brady, Syracuse ; 
Henry L. Henman, Cooperstown ; John Marsh, Cooperstown ; H. J. 
Brady, Cooperstown; Walter H. Bunn, Cooperstown. John Begley, is 
electrician and superintendent of the plant. About one-third of the 
company's stock is owned by residents of Gloversville. A two years 
contract for lighting the streets of the city, acted as an inducement for 
the formation of this company and work was begun on the plant De- 
cember I, 1889. The motor circuit was in operation January i, 1 890, 
and the street lamps were turned on a month later. At the expiration 
of the first contract, which was for 1 2 o'clock lighting, the company se- 
cured a new one, which requires all night lighting, and continues for 
five years from January i, 1892. The plant, consisting of a brick boiler, 
engine and dynamo house, is situated in the northern part of the city 
and contains two condensing engines of 300 horse power ; four arc 
dynamos, with a combined capacity of 200 lights; two incandescent 
dynamos with a capacity of 1,300 lights and two boilers of 250 horse 
power. The company have twenty-seven miles of arc street circuit - 
four miles of commercial arc circuit; nine miles of motor circuit and 
nine miles of incandescent circuit. They are at present furnishing the 
city with eighty-five street lights and it is their intention to increase 
this number to lOO. They are also furnishing forty large motors, which 
give power to a multitude of industries throughout the city, including 
two printing presses, 500 sewing machines, cooling fans, elevators, and 
many other kinds of machinery. The company's office is located at 8 
West Fulton street. 

TIu Presbyterian Church of Kingsboro. — The society from which this 
church originated was organized December 23, 1793. The chairman 
of the meeting held for that purpose was Josiah Throop, sen., Enos 
Seymour being clerk. At a meeting held one week later a covenant 
drawn by Rev. Mr. Conduit, was accepted, pledging the members to join 
together as a " congregational society of Christians," and embodying 
simple regulations for its government. This covenant is dated December 
30, 1793, and bears the following signatures: Josiah Throop, Matthew 



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38o HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

Clark, John Wells, Benjamin Hall, Stephen Gillett, Enos Seymour, 
Elihu Case, John Ayres, Josiah Leonard, Horace Kellogg, Frederick 
Steele, James Parsons, Darius Case, Horace Burr, Reuben Case, Lijah 
Burr, Bissell Burr, Charles Belden, Timothy Haskins. 

A church site was selected a little south of the burying- ground at the 
head of the present park, on land bought of Frederick Steele and Da- 
rius Case. In 1796 the society purchased of Mr. Steele an additional 
plot of three and three- tenths acres. The dimensions of the proposed 
building were fixed at 45 xSS feet. A subscription paper was circulated 
by John Ayres and Asa Jones, and in May, 1794, a conti'act for erect- 
ing the building was let to Asa Newton, at thirty- eight pounds, one 
shilling. The work was begun April 15, 1795. 

On the 6th of June, 1794, the society was designated " The Congre- 
gational Society of Kingsboro, in Montgomery county, state of New 
li'^ork." The first board of trustees, elected June 23, 1794, were Col. 
Josiah Throop and James Parsons, three years ; Josiah Wells and John 
Ayres, two years ; Elihu Case and Daniel Bedford, one year. 

On the 19th of June, 1796 (the building being then merely enclosed), 
an assessment was imposed to raise funds for its completion. The first 
annual meeting in the new church was held June 30, 1796 ; Daniel 
Judson and Daniel Case presided, and two trustees were elected. 

On the 17th of June, 1-796, the society extended a call to Rev. John 
Linsley, and voted to give him ^^150 a year for two years, with house 
and firewood; and after two years, £\^o with house and firewood It 
is apparent that the house thus promised was not a commodious man- 
sion, for it is recorded that the minister went to Samuel Giles' to study, 
where there were two rooms in the house. There is no record of the dates 
when Mr. Linsley arrived and departed, but it is believed that he came 
about the middle of 1797 and remained between two and three years. 
A partially distracted condition of the society concerning its name and 
church connection led to his retirement. It is recorded that " the so- 
ciety do not consider themselves under the Northern Associated Pres- 
bytery, but according to the Connecticut Association as practiced in 
Hartford, Connecticut, which are Congregational." There seems to 
have been two partially organized societies in the place, Presbyterian 
and Congregational; for in November, 1798, there was a meeting of 



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PRESBYTERIAN CHURCHES. 381 

the Congregational trustees with the Presbyterians to settle disputed 
points in the temporalities of the church. A union between these two 
elements was not efifected until February 3, 1804. 

From the year 1799 until the coming of Rev. Elisha Yale in March, 
1803, there was only occasional preaching by supplies. In January, 

1802, the seats were sold at an appraisal of $350 as a yearly rent for the 
support of the gospel. Jonathan Hosmer and Rufus Mason, who were 
elected June 22, 1803, were the first choristers, and at the same meeting 
steps yvere taken to secure a Congregational library. 

As evidence of the low ebb of religious sentiment at that period we 
have only to quote the following from Pastor Yale's papers: "There 
was but little union between the broken parts of the church. Their 
condition was sorrowful. Contention soured the minds of the parents, 
and folly occupied the minds of the children. In 1802, under the 
preaching of Pitkin Cowles, some were excited to pray and hope that 
God had neither forsaken or forgotten them. But in the winter of 

1803, vanity and folly seemed so prevalent, especially among the young, 
that saints hoped almost against hope." From the day, however, when 
Pastor Yale preached his first sermon, April 3, 1803, religious senti- 
ment and morality began to improve. He evidently came at an oppor- 
tune time, and many believed his advent was in answer to prayer. A 
revival began with his first sermon and continued during his month of 
absence in June, which he spent in Oneida county. In October he re- 
turned to his former home in Massachusetts, and then again returned to 
Kingsboro. In the early part of 1804 he again visited Massachusetts, 
and received a call to settle in Becket, where he had before preached, 
but duty pointed to Kingsboro as offering a wider field of usefulness, and 
hither he returned. He saw from the first the great necessity of a 
union between the discordant elements in Kingsboro, and on the 26th 
of January, 1804, ten months after his first arrival, he was gratified with 
a meeting of the male members of the two partially organized societies 
to devise measures for union. This meeting was held at the house of 
Frederick Steele, and Daniel Judson presided. Mr Yale was present 
and was invited to lay before the meeting a plan of union. The meet- 
ing adjourned to February 3, when Rev. Conrad Ten Eyck, of the Re- 
formed Church of Mayfield, was invited to meet with them, at which 



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382 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

time a union was effected in " a most remarkable and fraternal manner." 
The united organization was called the Congregational Church of Kings- 
boro, and the deacons of the two societies were retained in the new or- 
ganization. On the 28th of March Mr. Yale propounded and the 
church adopted twenty-nine articles of doctrine as a confession of faith, 
a church covenant, and rules for the administration of church govern- 
ment. The united church consisted of thirty-nine members. On the 
Sth of April the society gave Mr. Yale a unanimous call with a salary 
of $300 a year, thirty cords of wood, a house and the use of twenty- 
two acres of land. He was installed on the 23d of May following. 

In 1805 the church took into consideration its disconnected situation, 
and at the pastor's suggestion was placed under care of the Northern 
Associated Presbytery of New York on the 7th of October, 1806. In 
February, 1 807, Pastor Yale and a number of other ministers met at 
Milton, and formed themselves into " a Saratoga Associated Presby- 
tery," under which the church remained until July, 1821. This Pres- 
bytery was then dissolved and on the 2 1st of August following the 
church was placed under care of the Presbytery of Albany, where it re- 
mained until 1837. At that time, through the dispute between the 
old school and the new school, the church withdrew from the Presby- 
tery and was without ecclesiastical connection until June, 1853, when it 
changed its organization from Congregational to Presbyterian, and was 
again received under the care of the same Presbytery, where it still re- 
mains. 

A brief reference to the various revivals in the society will indicate 
its growth. The first, as has already been noted, followed immediately 
upon the arrival of Mr. Yale, and as a result forty-five converts united 
with the church in 1804, including many of the most influential families. 
This revival wrought a marked change in the leading men of the con- 
gregation, and exercised a potent and highly beneficial influence on the 
entire community. 

The second revival took place in 1813-14, and followed a long period 
of affliction and church trouble. After 1804 additions to the church 
gradually declined, and in 1808 there were none; but in 1813 relig- 
ion attracted renewed interest and attention. A revival of great power 
followed, and during the four succeeding years more than seventy con- 
verts united with the church. 



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PRESBYTERIAN CHURCHES. 383 

In 1 8 19 there was an extensive revival in most of the churches of the 
Albany Presbytery and the good work reached this society, resulting in 
the addition of twenty- nine members during 1820 and 1821. In 1822 
a fourth revival began under the ministry of Rev. Calvin Yale, brother 
of the pastor. Over sixty persons in twenty different families were 
converted during the summer, and within the year forty- three joined 
the church. 

At the beginning of the year 1829 there were six hundred uncon- 
verted persons within the bounds of the congregation. During the 
year 1828 special preparations had been made for a revival, which be- 
gan early in the following year and continued almost uninterruptedly 
for five years. One hundred and twenty-four were added to the church, 
three of whom became ministers. This was the most extensive revival 
during Pastor Yale's ministry. 

From the year 1833 and onward, the pastor and a part of the church 
made special efforts for another revival, but a spirit of discord arose, 
and during 1834—37 much bitterness prevailed, though the majority of 
the congregation held with the pastor. At the end of 1837 the spirit- 
ual life of the church was low because of dissension, but in May, 1838, 
the present church was dedicated, and from that time an awakening 
filled the church and increased until September, especially in that part 
of the congregation residing in Gloversville, where meetings were held 
in the school-house. Conviction and conversion followed and multi- 
tudes flocked to the meetings. During the years 1839-40 about one 
hundred persons united with the church, a large number of whom after- 
wards joined the Methodist and Baptist churches in Gloversville. The 
old Kingsboro church is, therefore, the real parent of those later organ- 
izations. After 1839-40 there was no general revival, and yet there 
were many yearly additions. In 1841, twenty, and in 1851 twenty- 
three were added. 

Up to 1832 the church had received as the fruit of revivals 335 per- 
sons, and in other ways sixty-five, thus showing that the best growth 
of the church was due to the revivals with which it had been favored. 
Under the guidance of Pastor Yale (to a greater or less degree), twenty- 
seven young men entered the ministry. Up to 1853 the government 
of the church was Congregational in name and form, but really Presby- 



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384 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

terian in spirit. The pastor was a rigid self-disciplinarian, and had a 
strong personal influence over his congregation. A committee of vig- 
ilance did much to keep the wayward in the path of duty and also 
strengthened the weak. In the crusade against liquor selling and 
drinking, during a period when intemperance was almost universal, this 
church exerted a powerful influence, and the same may be said with 
reference to Sabbath breaking. 

Pastor Yale's salary for fifty years made an aggregate of $25,000 
In addition to this, $10,000 were expended for church building and 
repairs; $6,000 for congregational expenses ; $6,016 were contributed 
to the American Bible Society ; $616 to the American Tract Society, 
and $13,000 to the American Board of Foreign Missions. Since 1855 
the church has sent its funds to the Presbyterian board. 

The following pastors have served this church : Rev. John Linsley, 
installed about 1797, resigned about 1 800; Rev. Elisha Yale, installed 
May 23, 1804, resigned June 23, 1852; Rev. Edward Wall, installed 
June 30, 1853, resigned March 20, 1862; Rev. William Bannard, in- 
stalled April 8, 1863, resigned February 8, 1869; Rev. George Hark- 
ness, installed July 13, 1869, resigned September 24, 1877 ; Rev. John 
C. Boyd, installed February 26, 1878, resigned in February, 1883 ;. 
Rev. Isaac O. Rankin, installed in March, 1883, resigned August 11, 
1891 ; Rev. George L. McClelland, installed January 27, 1892, and is 
at present pastor of the church. Deacons : Darius Case, elected 1793, 
died 1797; Daniel Judson, elected 1804, died 1817; Jedediah Ayres, 
1804, died 181 1 ; Benjamin Hall, 1804, died 1830; Samuel Giles, 1809,. 
died 1841 ; Duncan Robertson, 1817, died 1867; Jesse Smith, 1830; 
Abraham Ward, 1830. Elders: Jennison Giles, 1853; Denton M. 
Smith, 1856; Horace Sprague, 1853; W. J. Heacock, 1853; J. W. 
Johnson, 1853 ; Eli Leavenworth, 1854; G. G. W. Green, 1854; D. B. 
Judson, 1856; E. G. Warner, 1857; Joseph Steele, 1858; Peter Mc- 
Laren, 1862; Humphrey Smith, 1862; Ebenezer Leavenworth, 1867; 
James H. Foote, 1868; Jonathan Wooster, 1871 ; James W. Thomas, 
1872; Robert Robertson, 1872; James C. Stewart, 1873. 

The present officers of the church are as follows : Elders, Jeremiah 
Skaine, William Barker, Talmadge Parsons, Charles Fiske, Eli Lasher 
and Joseph Steele; trustees, Laban Brown, Aaron Putnam, Marcellus 



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PRESBYTERIAN CHURCHES. 385 

G. Burr, Homer Case, Charles Fiske and Eugene Heacock ; clerk of 
session, Joseph Steele. The membership of the church is 130 and 
Matthias Hertz is the present Sabbath-school superintendent. 

Sabbath School. — This church took action for the religious education 
of the young as early as 1806 and long before Sabbath-schools were 
known, but in 1820 the Sabbath -school proper was begun ; prior to that 
date, however, in addition to the pastor's Bible class, there were held 
what was called "Bible readings" at the Phelps street school-house and 
also at Gloversville.- At first the Sabbath- school was small but it grad- 
ually increased until 1827, when special efforts were made to enlarge it 
and in that year it numbered 300 scholars. During the long interval 
between that time and the present the Sabbath school has been a prom- 
inent factor in the growth and prosperity of the church, and has included 
among its teachers and superintendents many of the most faithful 
laborers in the society. 

First Presbyterian Church of Gloversville. — This church was formally 
organized at a meeting held in the hall at the rear of the Washburn 
property, August 6, 1864. The organization took place under the di- 
rection of a committee of the Presbytery of Albany, consisting of Rev. 
Daniel Stewart, Rev. J. A. Priest, and Elder Jacob Burton. Upon this 
occasion introductory services were conducted by Rev. R. A. Avery, 
of the Presbytery of Onondaga, and a sermon was preached by Rev. 
Daniel Stewart. There were thirty- four original menibeis, all but one 
coming from other existing churches, as follows : From the Presbyter- 
ian Church of Kingsboro, Willard J. Heacock, Mrs. Minerva Heacock,. 
Mrs. Catherine Allen, John C. Allen, Sarah J. Allen, Mrs Maria Gor- 
ton, Mrs. Adelia Clark, Virginia V. H. Fox, Orville S. Harmon, Mrs . 
Ann O. Harmon, Michael Easterly, Mrs. Cynthia P. Ward, Mrs. Char-- 
lotte A. Heacock, and Ann J. Green ; from the Congregational Churclii 
of Gloversville, Mrs. Minerva Avery, Charles D. Beers, Mrs. Maria J.. 
Beers, George W. Heaton, Mrs. Mary A. Heaton, Evert Wessel, Mrs.. 
Sarah M. Wessel, Mrs Charlotte M. Heacock, and Nettie C. Smith ; 
from the Central Presbyterian Church of Mayfield, Mrs. Rachel Scrim- 
ger, Lydia Fonda, and Aaron Eikenbrach ; from the Presbyterian 
Church of Johnstown, Mrs. Elizabeth Rose Brownell, Melissa Philer; 
from the Presbyterian church of Cooperstown, George Wilson, and Mrs. 
49 



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386 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

Martha L. Wilson ; from the Methodist Episcopal Church of Poultney, 
Vt, Mrs. Agnes Steele ; from the Presbyterian Church of Vernon Cen- 
tre, Mrs. Ann Lawson ; from the United Presbyterian Church of Coila, 
Alexander Scrimger. In addition to the above, Jesse Heacock was 
examined and admitted on profession of faith. 

Willard J. Heacock, who had been an elder of the church at Kings- 
boro, Charles D. Beers and George W. Heaton were elected ruling 
elders, and Alexander Scrimger and Orville S. Harmon were elected 
deacons. 

Rev. J. A. Priest was the first pastor, beginning his labors July i, 
1864, and a report made to the Albany Presbytery, February 13, 1866, 
shows that the church had at that time seventy communicants while 
the Sabbath-school had a membership of 183. A similar report made 
in January, 1867, showed that the communicants had increased to 136, 
while the teachers and scholars in the Sunday-school had risen to 210. 

During the first two years of its existence the "church continued to 
worship in the hall in which it was organized, but in the mean time its 
■members had been actively engaged in the erection of a house of wor- 
ship. A lot was secured at the corner of Bleecker and Fulton streets, 
.and the present handsome church edifice completed at a cost of $36,000, 
the dedicatory services taking place on the 22d of May, 1866. The 
first meeting of the session in the chapel of the new church was held 
June 8 of the same year. So bountiful were the contributions towards 
the payment of church obligations, that at the time of dedication the 
society was free from debt. Joel B. Noyes and Denton M. Smith were 
elected and installed as ruling elders, August 12, 1866. 

The several pastors and the dates of their service are as follows : Rev. 
J. A. Priest, July i, 1864-May, 1868; Rev. M. L. P. Hill, July 22, 
1868-November 6, 1870; Rev. Avery S. Walker, July, 1871-October, 
1877; Rev. W. W. Belden, January, 1878-August, 1879; Rev. John 
H. Crum, November, 1879-August, 1883 I Rev. James Gardner came 
as a supply July i, 1884, and was installed October 28, of the same 
year. He still remains in pastoral charge of the congregation. 

The church has been very successful in all its undertakings and its 
membership has steadily increased, being 607 at the present time. In 
addition to its home Sunday-school, it conducts two mission schools, 



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METHODIST CHURCHES. 387 

one located in Berkshire (a suburb of Gloversville), and another at the 
foot of South Main street. Wiilard J. Heacock was the superintendent 
of the Sunday-school for many years, the position at present being 
ably filled by Frank Egelston. As an indication of the activity of the 
church it may be said that $2,706 were raised last year for benevolent 
purposes, which was an increase of $1,140 over the previous year. 

The present elders are: Wiilard J. Heacock, Edgar A. Spencer, John 
C. Allen, George C. Potter, Peter R. Furbeck, E. Barton Whitney, 
Adam Hunter, James W. Green, and Frank Egelston ; the deacons are : 
Clement S. Hillabrandt, Hiram A. Belding, Myron C. Treadway, and 
Lansing T. Loucks ; the trustees are : Wiilard J. Heacock, C. A. Ormis- 
ton, jQ_hn C. Allen, M. C. Treadway, Z. B. Whitney, and A. W. Lock- 
lin ; treasurer, J. P. Heacock ; clerk, F. P. Simmons. 

First Methodist Episcopal Church. — The rapid and continued growth 
of Methodism in Gloversville has been phenomenal, and, probably, not 
another city of corresponding size in the state can claim so large a por- 
tion of its inhabitants as adherents to this system. The pioneer 
Methodist church of this vicinity, and hence that one to which all ex- 
isting Methodist societies in Gloversville owe their ancestry, was organ- 
ized north of Kingsboro, in 1790, by the Rev. Mr. Kefif. Enrolled on 
the records of this primitive church were the family names of Easterly, 
Clancy, Northrup, Porter, Powell, Phelps, Smith, Sutliff, Edwards, John- 
son, Wait, and others. In 1791 Freebor.n Garrettson, then presiding: 
elder of Hudson River district (New York Conference), reported that the- 
society had secured a lot and also building materials, and that a chapell 
was in process of erection. For many years succeeding the above date,, 
services were conducted by the following pastors successively : Rev. 
Keff, Abner Chase, Samuel Draper, Samuel Luckey, Daniel Ostrander,. 
Samuel Howe, Samuel Eighmy, Trueman Seymour, H. Stearns, Noah 
Levings, Jacob Beeman, Sherman Miner, James Covell, jr., Charles- 
Pomeroy, John D. Moriarty, Jesse Lee, John Dempster, Arnold Schole- 
field, Merritt Bates, Salmon Stebbins, Dillon Stevens, John B. Stratton, 
John Alley, Tobias Spicer, Henry Eames, Seymour Coleman, Abiathar 
M. Osbon, Joseph McCreary, J. B. Houghtaling, Ephraim Goss. 
Among these men, Jesse Lee, Freeborn Garrettson, and John Demps- 
ter, will ever be remembered as early and earnest workers in the cause 



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388 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

of Methodism and Christian intelligence. In the year 1837 there was a 
small class in Gloversville which included among its members George 
W. Clancy, Theodore Welch and wife, Valentine Place and wife, Nathan 
C. Russell and wife, Father Barrett, Maria Wait, Phebe A. and Jane 
M. Smith, Elias and Henry Houghton, Stephen S Sutliff, Isabel Morey 
(afterward the wife of Elias G. Ward), Mrs. William Case, Niles Fair- 
banks, David Clancy and wife, William Easterly and wife, Elijah East- 
erly and wife, Purdy Hollett, Eldridge Northrup and wife, George 
Northrup, sr., and wife, and Goodwin Phelps and wife. The annual 
Troy Conference held in the spring of 1838, elected Rev. Charles Sher- 
man to the station of presiding elder of the Albany district, which at 
that time embraced a large part of Albany and Schoharie counties, and 
the whole of Schenectady, Montgomery, Fulton, Saratoga, and Herkimer 
counties. Rev. J. H. Taylor was assigned as preacher in charge of the 
Johnstown circuit, embracing Johnstown, Kingsboro, and Pleasant Val- 
ley, with Revs. L. L. Radley, and William Barnes as helpers with salaries 
of about $300 per annum. During the month of August, 1838, Pastor 
Taylor, while riding into the village from the south one Saturday after- 
noon, suddenly became impressed with the conviction that a revival of 
religion could be successfully conducted in " Stump City," by which 
iname Gloversville was then known. After passing the old red school- 
;house which^ stood on what is now the corner of School and West Ful- 
:ton streets, he turned back and hailed Jennison G.Ward, saying: "Will 
you give out an appointment for next Thursday night at the school- 
house ? " Ward replied, " Yes, but I don't believe they will come out." 
They did come, however, and at the appointed time the house was 
crowded with eager listeners. Interest had so increased by the latter 
part of September that a series of revival prayer meetings was begun. 
The first of these meetings, held during the daytime, was at the resi- 
dence of Stephen S. Sutlifif, on Cayadutta street, and it is stated that 
three conversions took place that afternoon. Methodists, Baptists, and 
Congregationalists united in these gatherings and many of the early in- 
habitants then experienced religion. This finally led to the formation 
of a Methodist Episcopal society with sixty-nine members, among 
whom were Jennison G. Ward, Elias G. Ward and wife, Benjamin Bai- 
ley and wife, Harry C. Jones and wife, John Shanley, Lucinda Peake, 



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METHODIST CHURCHES. 389 

•Charles C. Bowen and wife, and many others. On October 22, 1838, a 
subscription was circulated by Rev. Charles Sherman, presiding elder, 
and the names of many liberal donors were obtained, among whom may 
be noted the name of Charles F. Powell, of Pleasant Square, whose 
widow is still living, having been a member of the Methodist church 
seventy- one years. Niies Fairbanks and Henry Houghton collected 
about $300 worth of gloves, mittens and moccasins to sell and apply to 
the church fund, and ground was broken for the foundation of the 
church edifice on the 26th day of November, 1838. December 13, of 
the same year, a meeting of the male members of the Methodist Epis- 
copal society of Gloversville was held at the residence of Valentine 
Place and seven trustees were elected, as follows : Elihu Enos, Valen- 
tine C. Place, Harry C. Jones, A. S. Shottenkirk, George W. Clancy, 
Charles F. Powell, and Henry Houghton. The trustees were consti- 
tuted a building committee and were authorized to erect a house of 
worship. A site was selected on what is now the southwest corner of 
North Main and Church streets, and the contract for the carpenter work 
was let to Samuel S. Mills for $2,725, to which an additional sum of 
$240 was afterwards added for building a porch ten feet in width. The 
structure was completed during the summer of 1839, and the dedicatory 
services took place October 9, Rev. Noah Levings officiating in the 
morning and Rev. Joseph Castle in the evening. The Sunday school 
was organized on the first Sunday following the dedication and met 
during the "first year in the old red school-house. It was conducted 
partly as a Union school and was continued during the summer and fall 
of 1839 with uninterrupted harmony and great success. On Novem- 
ber 19, 1839, the Female Aid society was organized "for the express 
purpose of rendering aid 4o the Methodist Episcopal church in Glovers- 
ville." While the first pulpit was being built, the carpenter having the 
piece of work in charge declared to his fellow laborers that he would 
dedicate that part of the church himself, not willing to trust it to an- 
other. As the man was not a Christian, this was interpreted as a joke, 
but true to his word, the carpenter finished the pulpit, and then gath- 
ering the other men about it, he denounced them as sinners in such 
words of terror that one man " was smitten under deep conviction and 
soon found peace in believing, afterward becoming a minister of the 
gospel." 



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390 * HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

In 1840 this church belonged to the Johnstown and Gloversville 
circuit and had Rev. William Griffin, Thomas W. Pearsons and Richard 
T. Wade as pastors. The Sunday-school wa' reorganized during the 
year, and Jennison G. Ward was elected superintendent. It had 129 
scholars, and twenty- five officers and teachers. In 1 848 an arrangement 
was made with the surviving trustees of the old Methodist Episcopal 
church at Kingsboro, by which the sheds belonging to that church 
were removed to Gloversville, and the church building itself was sold 
for $27, which merely paid for tearing it down and paying off an old 
debt of $17. In 1852 an addition of twenty feet was built on the rear 
of the church, and the rededicating exercises were held November i, by 
Rev. Barnes M. Hall. Further repairs and inprovements were made 
from time to time, so that in 1866 the value of the church building was 
placed at $10,000 and that of the parsonage, $3,500. In 1868 steps 
were taken toward erecting a new church edifice. The lot on the cor- 
ner of Elm, Church and Bleecker streets, on which the present house of 
worship stands, was purchased of S. S. Plummer, October 6, 1868, for 
$6,000. In 1 869 the old church was converted into a business block 
and was entirely destroyed in the disastrous fire of 1877. The new 
church building was completed at a cost of $65,000, and dedicated March 
10, 1870, with preaching in the morning by Rev. Jesse T. Peck, and in 
the evening by Rev. Benoni I. Ives. The presiding elder at that time 
was Elisha Watson, and the pastor, George S. Chadbourne. In April, 
1875, the Second Methodist Episcopal church (now the Fremont street 
M. E. church) was organized, 135 of its members taking letters from the 
mother church. In 1885 a lot on the corner of East Fulton and Chest- 
nut streets for a mission chapel was purchased at a cost of $600. In 
March of that year Rev. Henry Graham organized a class of twenty- 
seven persons in Kingsboro and appointed James W. Rice as leader. 
This class subsequently developed into the present North Main Street 
Methodist Episcopal church, noticed at length further on in this work. 
Of the original members of the first church there are now living Stephen 
S. Sutliff, Silas Shutts, Henry Houghton, Mrs. Maria Houghton (for- 
merly Wait), Mrs. S. A. Powell and Niles Fairbanks. The pastors who 
have officiated at the pulpit of this church since its organization with the 
dates of their service are as follows : 1838, J. H. Taylor, L. L. Radley 



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METHODIST CHURCHES. 391 

and William Barnes ; 1839, J- H. Taylor, with Thomas W. Pearsons and 
William Griffin as colleagues ; 1840, William Griffin, Thomas W. Pear- 
sons and Richard T. Wade; 1841, Stephens Parks, Albert R. Spear 
and Myron White ; 1842, Stephen Parks and John Seage ; 1843, Thomas 
Armitage ; 1844-45, Dillon Stevens ; 1846-47, James Quinlan ; 1848- 
49, Cicero Barber; 1850-51, Richard T. Wade; 1852-53, Merritt 
Bates; 1854-55, Stephen Parks; 1856-57, Bostvvick Hawley ; 1858-59, 
Nathaniel G. Spaulding; 1860-61; Elisha Watson; 1862-63, Isaac 
Parks; 1864-65-66, Thomas A. Griffin; 1867-68-69, George S. Chad- 
bourne ; 1870-71-72, Durrell W. Dayton ; 1873-74-75, Hiram C. Sex- 
ton ; 1876-77-78, Oliver A. Brown ; 1879-80-81, Hubbard C. Farrar ; 
1882-83-84, Henry Graham; 1885-86-87, John H. Coleman; 1888- 
89-90, Charles W. Rowley; 1891 to date, John Z. Armstrong. The 
present officers of the church are : Stewards, N. W. Welch, F. Pauley, 
H. W. Smith, Dr. C. M. Lefler, J. A. Van Auken, E. C. ColHns, Wm. 
McDougall, Henry Shipman, E. M. Bishop, Darius Filmer, J. H. Brown- 
ell, Alden Henry, George H. Hilts ; trustees, Daniel Hays, O. C. Collins, 
Peter V. Hill, L. A. Tate, J. E. Wood, P. R. Smith, George M. Place, J. 
S. Zimmer and James A. McDougall. The membership of the church 
is 1,127; the Sunday-school has a membership of 700. H. W. Smith 
is superintendent. 

Fremont Street Methodist Episcopal Church. — In the early part of 
the year 1875 the membership of the First Methodist Episcopal Church 
of Gloversville, numbering more than 900, had become so large that it 
was deemed necessary to found a new Methodist society. In April of 
the above mentioned year, a wooden church edifice on Fremont street, 
built by the Episcopal society at a cost of about $9,000, became avail- 
able property, and was purchased by Daniel Hays, W. H. Place, James 
Kent, H. Jordan and F. W. Stevens, all of whom, with the single ex- 
ception of Mr. Stevens, were members of the First Methodist Church. 
Affairs of the new society now began to take definite form. An appli- 
cation to conference resulted in the appointment of H. A. Starks as first 
pastor, and the name given to the congregation was the Second Meth- 
odist Episcopal Society of Gloversville. May 3, 1875, a meeting of 
the First Church was held at the house of Pastor Sexton, a call was 
made for volunteers to the new enterprise and about forty names of 



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392 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

members were pledged, as well as several who expressed their willing- 
ness to become members of the new society. The following Sunday, 
May 9, the first services were held in the new church, and on the first 
succeeding Sabbath a Sunday-school was organized with the following 
officers : Superintendent, H. Jordan ; assistant superintendent, E. H. 
Caswell ; lady superintendent, Mrs. J. M. Wood ; secretary, William 
Muddle; treasurer, J. Muddle. The first board of trustees was elected 
May 1 8, as follows: Hiram Jordan, Harvey Kasson, Randolph Day, 
Fred Stevens and J. M. Wood. At the same meeting J. W. Place, 
George Wood and E. H. Eisenbury were appointed stewards, and John 
Muddle, Hiram Jordan and P. J. Keck, class leaders. On Wednesday, 
July 14, 1875, the church was dedicated to the worship of God, Bishop 
Bowman officiating. The name of the society was changed to the 
Fremont Street Methodist Episcopal Church on July 26 of the same 
year, at a meeting called for that especial purpose. Pastor Starks re- 
mained with the church two years and did much to make the infant so- 
ciety a success. Upon his departure in 1877 he left a membership of 
179, with fifty probationers. He was followed in the pastorate by J. H. 
Coleman, during the third year of whose labor with the church the en- 
tire indebtedness was paid off. Pastor Coleman was succeeded in 1880 
by Rev. George C. Morehouse, who labored faithfully until April, 1883, 
when Rev. W. P. Rulison was assigned to the pastorate. At this time 
the question of a new church edifice was agitated, and the movement 
assumed definite shape in 1885, when it was decided to build a house 
of worship. The present beautiful structure on Fremont street was 
completed early in July, 1886, during the first few months of the pastorate 
ate of William M. Brundage. The church was dedicated July 1 1, by- 
Rev. J. M. Hamilton. The auditorium is on the second floor, and ha» 
a capacity of between seven and eight hundred persons. Pastor Brun- 
dage was followed in 1889 by Rev. T. G. Thompson, who has served 
the society very acceptably, the most pleasant relations existing be- 
tween pastor and people. When the duration of his regular pastorate 
expired in 1 891, he received an urgent call to continue his ministry for 
another year, and hence is the first pastor in the history of the church 
to extend his services beyond the three years limit. At present the 
membership of the church is 950, while that of the Sunday school 
is 681. 



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M£rHOD/ST CHURCHES. 393 

The trustees of the church are C. S. Schermerhorn, W. N. Stewart, 
J. M. Thompson, Charles Keifer, M. Hodder, P. J. Keck, G. W. Scher- 
merhorn, Dr. John Edwards and Joseph Hemstreet. The stewards are 
Ralph Sexton, William Muddle, F. Cuyler, C. J. Skiff, W. H. Jansen, 
William Oaksford, N. E. Dutcher, David Warner, M. J. Owen, David 
Burton, S. A. Moore, F. Denham and J. M. Lair. The class leaders 
are T. Dobinson, Mrs. T. Dobinson, P. J. Keck, M. E. Brockway, 
Lemuel Heacock, Mrs. L. Heacock, W. N. Stewart, J. G. Smith, John 
Muddle, Solomon Jeffers, Robert Swan, Mrs. Christian Fosmire, G. S. 
Wheaton and J. R. Thompson. J. M. Thompson is superintendent of 
the Sunday-school and is assisted by P. J. Keck, Mrs. R. Glasgow and 
Mrs. Charles Keifer. 

North Main Street Methodist Episcopal Church. — This, the third of 
its denomination in Gloversville, was the outgrowth of the Kingsboro 
class of the First Methodist Episcopal church, formed in 1885 by Rev. 
Henry Graham the pastor, and placed under the leadership of J. W. 
Rice, a man whose services have been of great value to the society. 
The first meeting of this class, consisting of twenty-seven members, was 
held Thursday evening, March 19, 1885. Early in 1887 a house owned 
by Daniel Hays (to whose Continued interest and generous financial 
aid the young society is greatly indebted), was used for worship, and 
Rev. J. H. Coleman, then pastor of the First church and a warm friend 
of the mission, preached on Sunday afternoon. In the fall of 1887 
Rev. R. T. Wade took charge of the work and continued his service 
until the close of the conference year. A house, costing $2,000 and 
having seating capacity for 225 persons, was dedicated January 15, 
1888, and sufficient subscriptions were secured to cover all expenses. 
The church was regularly organized February 21, 1888, -with forty- 
eight members. At the following session of the Troy Conference Rev. 
M. L. Fisher was appointed the first regular pas'or. Under his zeal- 
ous labors for two years the society grew until 124 full members were 
upon the records, and both Sunday school and congregation filled the 
house to overflowing. Soon after the appointment of Rev. E. Wise- 
man, in 1890, a movement was set on foot for a new church. It was 
decided to build and finish the interior of the first story only for the 
present. Rev. E. Wiseman, J. W. Rice, George Plue and J. G. Eaton, 

50 



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394 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

of North Main street, Daniel Hays of the First church, and J. M. 
Thompson of Fremont Street church were the building committee. 
The new church was dedicated January 3, 1892, the First and Fre- 
mont Street churches uniting in the services. Rev. J. Z Armstrong 
preached in the morning, and Rev. T. G. Thompson in the evening. 
Presiding Elder Graham preached in the afternoon, and also presented 
the financial necessities. This resulted in the securing of $5,682, 
enough to cover all remaining indebtedness and to fit the former house 
of worship for a parsonage, for which purpose it had been originally 
designed. The entire cost of the church to its present stage of com- 
pletion has been $11,060, and its entire seating capacity is 700. It is 
conveniently located on the corner of North Main and Potter streets, 
and presents an imposing external appearance. When completed it 
will cost about $20,000. March 8, 1892, the full membership was 208 
with twelve probationers. This young church having just celebrated 
its fourth anniversary, has 220 communicants, a Sunday-school of 300, 
a Young People's society of sixty, and a property worth $13,000. 
The following are its officers: Pastor, Eugene Wiseman ; superintend- 
ent of Sunday-school, George Plue ; class leaders, J. W. Rice, E. J. 
Anderson, Mrs. Benjamin Ellsworth ; stewards, J. W. Rice, D. H. Cole, 
Morgan Putnam, George Plue, E. J. Anderson, P. H. Brown, J. G. 
Eaton, T. F. -Hill, J. F. Loop, Elmer Tyrrell, William Hemstreet ; 
trustees, Daniel Hays, Charles Keifer, J. W. Rice, William Hodder, 
Benjamin Rice, M. L. Dennie, George Copeland and James H. Wash- 
burn. 

East Fulton Street Methodist Episcopal Church. — During the summer 
of 1889 the members of the First Methodist Episcopal church became 
impressed with the need of religious services in the eastern section of 
the city, and erected a neat and commodious chapel at the corner of 
East Fulton and Chestnut streets, at a cost of $4,000. The chapel was 
dedicated November 17, 1889, Lewis A. Tate presenting the building 
for dedication on behalf of the trustees. The services upon this occa- 
sion were conducted by Rev. Henry Graham, presiding elder, and C. W. 
Rowley, pastor of the First Methodist Episcopal church. As an evi- 
dence of the interest taken in the undertaking, it may be added that 
the entire cost of the edifice was provided for upon the day of dedica- 



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CATHOLIC CHURCH— BAPTIST CHURCH. 395 

tion. A Sabbath-school was organized and was greatly appreciated 
by the children in that part of the city. It was conducted under the 
auspices of the First Methodist Episcopal church, and preaching was 
had at intervals. Prayer meetings were held, however, regularly once a 
week. This condition continued until April, 1892, when, at the annual 
session of the Troy Conference held at Plattsburgh, the Rev. Robert H. 
Washburne was appointed pastor in charge, and regular services are 
now held every Sabbath. 

St. Mary 5 Roman Catholic Church. — The first house of worship reg- 
larly occupied by the Roman Catholics in Gloversville was a small 
church on the Pine street hill, purchased by them in an unfinished state 
in 1874. Rev. Gillem was the first pastor, but remained only a short 
time. He was succeeded by Rev. W. Kempen, under whose charge 
the Pine Street church was completed. He resigned in April, 1876, 
and a year later Rev. Michael Killeen assumed charge of the parish. 
Under his care the beautiful brick church on Fremont street was erected. 

First Baptist Church. — Prior to 1838 there were only a few Baptists 
scattered through the country in the immediate vicinity of Gloversville. 
They had for two years or more enjoyed the labors of Revs. Knapp, 
Groom, Hutchins and Whitman. In the summer of the above men- 
tioned years. Rev. Erastus Miner, of Pleasant Valley, came to Glovers- 
ville to preach a funeral sermon. His sympathies were at once enlisted 
in behalf of the Baptists in that community, and he left his own people 
and gave part of his time to religious efforts in the then primitive vil- 
lage. Notice was given for all Baptist members to assemble on a given 
day to decide the question of organizing either a branch connection 
with Pleasant Valley or an independent church. It is said that when 
the day arrived, it rained, and in consequence no one attended the pro- 
posed meeting. The record says, " In order that the project should not 
fail, Brother Abel S. Leaton started on foot from Johnstown and looked 
them up again, and appointed a meeting the following week." At this 
meeting, which was held in the village school- house, it was unanimous- 
ly agreed, after consultation, to become a branch of the Pleasant Val- 
ley Church, and the second Sunday following was appointed as the 
time when the organization should be effected. No definite action was 
taken then or directly afterward, but preaching was maintained and the 



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396 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

meetings were continued. Conversions were frequent and a number of 
baptisms took place on October 28, November 5 and 25, 1838. On 
January 6, 1839, ^ve were baptized on profession of faith. The follow- 
ing Sunday evening, January 13, it was unanimously agreed to organize 
an independent Baptist Church on Tuesday, January 15, 1839, and the 
original purpose of becoming a branch of the Pleasant Valley Church 
was abandoned. According to appointment a meeting was held in 
Burr's assembly room January 15, 1839. Rev. Miner read the I32d 
Psalm, and an opening prayer was oflered by Rev. Gale. Later on Mr. 
Gale administered the charge and Mr. Miner gave the right hand of 
fellowship, during which all those present, nineteen in number, arose 
and stood in a semi-circle. The church was then and there organized 
and named the First Baptist Church of Gloversville, N. Y. Abel S. 
Leaton was chosen stated clerk, and an election of trustees resulted in 
the choice of Henry Churchill, George Washburn, Abel S. Leaton, H. 
C. Thomas, L. F. Cooper, and Joab Phelps. It was also resolved, 
"That the building committee consist of the trustees, and they be and 
are hereby authorized to purchase a site for a meeting house, and have 
full power to act in all matters in relation to the erection and final com- 
pletion of said meeting house." On the first Sunday in March, 1839, 
the church celebrated the memorial ordinance of the Lord's supper for 
the first time. The names of the nineteen constituent members are as 
follows : H. C. Thomas, J. C. Valentine, Thomas B. Kenyon, Cuyler 
Shottenkirk, William Billingham, John Whiting, Abel S. Leaton, Mrs. 
Elizabeth Ward, Mrs. Nancy Hill, Mrs. Sarah Curtis, Mrs. Rachel Ken- 
yon, Mrs. C. C. Warner, Miss Sarah Hare, Miss Maria Evinskey, Miss 
Margaret Van Steinburgh. The church was formally admitted to the 
Saratoga Baptist Association at the annual meeting held in Stillwater, 
June 25, 1839. October 6, 1839, a call was extended to Rev. D. Cor- 
win to become pastor, and on Sunday, November 3, he preached for 
them and gave acceptance of the call. The first deacons of the church 
were elected in August, 1841, as follows: H. C. Thomas and S. Jud- 
son Deacon Thomas held the office continuously during a period of 
forty-eight years, well beloved and honored by the church. The first 
house of worship was situated on Main street, the building long known 
as Fox's Block. It was completed and dedicated September 18, 1839, 



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BAPTIST CHURCH. 397 

Rev. B. T. Welch, of Albany, and Rev. L. Raymond, of Cooperstown, 
each delivering sermons on the occasion. At a business meeting held 
May 23, 1855, steps were taken toward building a new church edifice 
and a subscription paper was circulated by a committee consisting of 
Henry Churchill, D. S. Frank, Austin Kasson, J. H. Burr, W. C. Allen, 
H. C. Thomas, D. M. Burr, Charles Sunderlin, S. S. Wells, A. C. 
Churchill, and J. H. Seymour. This committee soon reported that 
$6,000 had been subscribed, whereupon a building committee was ap- 
pointed and a lot secured, the location being the present site of the First 
Baptist Church. The new building was completed early in 1857 and 
the dedicatory services took place January 22 of that year. Two days 
were devoted to this solemn occasion and sermons were preached by 
Revs. Winegar, Peacock, Hawley, Gregory, Fisher, Wall and Dunning. 
The cost of the structure was $15,398.61. In this house of worship the 
society held services for a period of thirty- three years, when the won- 
derful growth of the society necessitated the erection of a church of 
greater dimerisions. The last service was held in the old building 
April 13, 1890, and the work of demolition began during the following 
week. Negotiations were entered into with Henry F. Kilburn, of New 
York, who submitted plans for the present beautiful structure, and the 
contract was let to Alden Henry, of Gloversviile. The building com- 
mittee which has immediate supervision of the work is composed of the 
following persons : Nicholas D. Wilson, J. H. Drake, John V. King, 
Aaron Simmons, and S. H. Shotwell. The building, which is the most 
valuable church edifice in Fulton county, was dedicated with fitting 
ceremonies, October 9, 1891, Pastor Bourn officiating. Among those 
present and taking part in the services were Rev. H. A. Cordo, of 
Cortland, who was pastor of this church from 1878 to 1885; Rev. 
George Cooper, of Richmond, Va., pastor from 1869 to 1873, and vari- 
ous local clergymen. The cost of the building, exclusive of the lot and 
material used from the old house, was $55,766.40. The first collection 
of this church for benevolence was the small sum of fifty cents in the 
year 1839. The largest total for all purposes in any one year was in 
1 87 1, during the pastorate of Rev. George Cooper, the amount being 
$7^875. 18. The church has had ten regularly setttled pastors. Rev. 
Erastus Miner, serving as a supply during a part of the year 1839. 



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39S HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

The others with the dates of their service are as follows : Rev. David 
Corwin, elected October 6, 1839, resigned November i, 1854; Rev. 
Isaac Westcott, elected May 10, 1855, resigned March 27, 1859; ^^v. 
Stephen Remington, elected May 10, 1859; resigned October, 1859; 
Rev. Conant Sawyer, elected December 16, 1859, resigned May 31, 
1867; Rev. Charles Y. Swan, elected September 30, 1867, resigned De- 
cember 27, 1868 ; Rev. George Cooper, elected October 18, 1869, re- 
signed April 7, 1873 ; Rev. C. N. Pattengill, elected May 19, 1873, re- 
signed June 21, 1877; Rev. H. A. Cordo, elected April i, 1878, resigned 
May 4, 1885 ; Rev. W. W. Dawley, elected August 17, 1885, resigned 
July 31, 1887 ; Rev. A. W. Bourn, the present pastor, elected Septem- 
ber, 19, 1887. The present membership is about 875. The first 
superintendent of the Sunday-school was H. D. Everett, and the present 
one is Dr. W. S. Garnsey, the total membership of the school being 
about 750. The church oflficers are : Pastor, A. W. Bourn; treasurer, 
L. K. Bourn ; clerk, C. M. C. Loyd ; deacons, A. Simmons, W. Shank- 
land, F. White, S. T. O. Hart, J. S. Burr; trustees, A. D. Brower, S. 
H. Shotwell, Charles King, J. H. Drake, W. D. West and Charles 
Lyke. 

Congregational Church. — The first active steps towards forming a so- 
ciety in Gloversville to be known either as Presbyterian or Congrega- 
tional, and also for building a church in which it should worship, were 
taken at a meeting held in the Gloversville school-house, June 29, 1850. 
Charles Mills was chosen chairman and S. Stewart Mills secretary. A 
committee consisting of E. L. Burton, U. M. Place, and Alanson Judson, 
was appointed to report some plan for carrying out the above mentioned 
purpose, which they did at a meeting held on the 20th of July following. 
A committee was then appointed to circulate a subscription for $7,000, 
to be used in purchasing a site and building a house of worship. This 
committee was composed of Edward Leonard, Darius C. Mills, Alanson 
Judson, D. S. Tarr, and Alanson Hosmer, and the lot upon which the 
edifice was erected was purchased of Alanson Judson. At a meeting 
held January 7, 1851, a vote was taken and it was found that eighteen 
were in favor of a Congregational society, while six preferred Presby- 
terianism, and in this manner the Congregational society of Gloversville 
had its origin. The first trustees of the new society, elected at a meet- 



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CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. 399 

ing held January 25, 185 i, were Samuel S. Mills, Uriah M. Place, Zina 
Case, Alanson Judson, H. C. Parsons, and Alanson Hosmer. These 
men were constituted a building committee and the contract for the 
edifice was let to Erastus Thorp, who completed it in the latter part of 
1852. The total cost was about $10,000. A call was issued by the so- 
ciety in November, 1852, to Homer N. Dunning, of the North River 
Presbytery, to become pastor of the new church at a salary of $600. 
The call was accepted and Mr. Dunning was ordained, and installed as 
pastor Thursday morning, December 2, 1852. At the ecclesiastical 
council held the previous evening there were present Rev. Ray Palmer, 
pastor of the First Congregational church of Albany (who was chosen 
moderator); Rev. Edward Wall, pastor of the Presbyterian church of 
Kingsboro; Rev. L. F. Waldo, pastor First Congregational church, 
Poughkeepsie ; Rev. H. G. Ludlow, pastor First Presbyterian church, 
Poughkeepsie ; and Rev. Elisha Yale, of Kingsboro, who was invited to 
sit as a corresponding member. The young society flourished under 
the spiritual guidance of Pastor Dunning, and in i860 the trustees re- 
ported the church to be free from debt. Mr. Dunning remained with 
the church twelve years, resigning his pastorate in December, 1864. 
The society was then without a regular minister until the following 
May, when Rev. Charles J. Hill, of Cleveland, accepted a call with the 
salary of $1,500. He remained with the church until August, 1868, 
being succeeded in January, 1869, by Rev. W. A. McGinley, who filled 
the pulpit until May, 1874. Rev. William E. Park, the present pastor, 
was installed March, 1876, and has continued his spiritual charge with 
devoted Christian zeal for a period of sixteen years. The first deacons 
of the church were Charles Mills, H. Seth Smith, I. V. Place, and E. L. 
Burton. A Sabbath- school was organized simultaneously with the 
church, of which Elisha Burton was the first superintendent, an office 
held by him continuously until his death. 

The present officers of the church are: Deacons, De Witt Smith, Uriel 
Case, Dr. Eugene Beach ; trustees, Charles W. Judson, Richard B. 
Parsons, William E. Lansing, Daniel McEwen, jr., Warren E. Whitney, 
Earl Karker, Curtis S. Cummings, E. L. Heacock, Hiram Darling. S. 
Elmore Burton is clerk and treasurer. The present membership of the 
church is 420. The superintendent of the Sabbath- school is W. F. Bur- 
ton, son of Elisha Burton, first superintendent. 



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40O HISTORY OF PULTON COUNTY. 

Christ Protestant Episcopal Mission Church. — Divine service in ac- 
cordance with the usages of the Protestant Episcopal Church were first 
held in Gloversville in the year 1852 by Rev. George N. Sleight, rector 
of St. John's church at Johnstown. Mr. Sleight officiated regularly for 
a year or more, until his resignation of the rectorship of St. John's, 
when the services were continued regularly to the beginning of the year 
1855, by his successor, tiie Rev. Lewis P. Clover. These services took 
place in the public school-house on Fulton street, and were held on each 
alternate Sunday afternoon. October i, 1856, a parish was formally 
organized with the name of Trinity Church of Gloversville, Rev. Lewis 
P. Clover presiding. Albert W. Gorton acted as secretary, and the 
following persons were elected to compose the first vestry : Wardens, 
Timothy W. Miller and Howard Hill; vestrymen, Albert W. Gorton, 
George Snyder, Marcus T. Peake, Samuel Gilchrist, Charles Hutchin- 
son, John Sunderlin, Nathan J. Burton and Joseph H. Westcott. Al- 
though wardens and vestrymen were elected annually on Tuesday in 
each Easter week until 1859 and social reunions were often held for the 
purpose of raising funds, services were not held regularly, and from 
1859 until 1866 there was but little activity in the parish. This unfor- 
tunate state of affairs was due principally to the fact that many mem- 
bers of the society had moved away, making the election of proper 
officers difficult and also rendering the expenses burdensome on the 
few that remained. In 1866, however, a happy change took place; 
many persons of the Episcopal faith were known to have recently set- 
tled in Gloversville and some of the original members had returned. 
The parish was fully reorganized at a meeting held August 2, of that 
year, and David H. Cuyler and Howard Hill were elected wardens, 
with a vestry composed of John W. Cook, Albert W. Gorton, George 
Shurbourne, Thomas M. Beach, Henry Hull, William Thorne, Frank 
Anderson and William R. Washburn. Regular services were then be- 
gun and were held on each alternate Sunday afternoon, a Sunday- 
school was established with D. H. Cuyler as superintendent, and cler- 
ical missionaries, with some other assistance, conducted the services. 
Thus the parish continued until September, 1871, at which time the 
session room of the Congregational church was used as a place for wor- 
ship. Trinity church was formally admitted into union with the diocese 



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EPISCOPAL CHURCH — LUTHERAN CHURCH. 401 

of Albany in 1 870. Regular morning and evening prayer was lield at 92 
Main Street from November 24, 1872 until February 17, 1873 under 
the auspices of Rev. James W. Stewart, rector of St. John's church, Johns- 
town, the. evening services being conducted bj- Rev. C. F. A. Bielby, 
the appointed missionary for this station and Fonda. Land was secured 
and a church edifice partially completed on West Pine street, but it 
was subsequently sold to the German Romanists for $2,200. George O. 
Eddy assumed formal charge of the parish on Sunday, March 16, 1873, 
and established regular services twice each Sabbath. A new church 
was then erected on Fremont street at the corner of Middle, at a cost 
of $3,600 exclusive of the lot, and was first occupied March 22, 1874. 
This edifice was afterwards sold to the Fremont Street Methodist society 
and Trinity Parish suffered another decline. With a view to revive the 
Episcopal service in the village Rev. Charles C. Edmunds, jr., and 
Rev. Robert H. Neide held services in a room on the third floor of the 
Hanson block each evening following July i, 1880. August 31, of the 
same year, an application was made to Bishop Doane, of the Albany 
diocese, requesting the organization of a mission church, which was 
granted and Christ Church Mission was formally established under the 
supervision of the bishop, with the Revs. Charles C. Edmunds, jr., and 
Robert H. Neide as officiating deacons. E. P. Newton was chosen 
warden; Allen N. Ross, clerk, and Hervey Ross, treasurer. In October, 
1883, the Rev. C. P. A. Burnett assumed charge of the mission as 
rector, and services were held in the Mosher hall on Fulton street for 
one year. The mission was then removed to the Kent block, where 
services were held pending the erection of the present church edifice on 
Spring street. The building was completed at a cost, including the lot, 
of $8,000 and first occupied June 23, 1887. The church has 330 free 
sittings. Rev. Mr. Burnet remained in the rectorship until December 
I, 1 89 1, being succeeded by Rev. H, C. Smyth, who is at present in 
charge of the parish. The church officers at present are James B. Eysa- 
man, warden; James Hull, treasurer, and Emil Alexander, clerk. There 
are no communicants, and the rector is superintendent of the Sunday- 
school, which has a membership of six teachers and sixty-five pupils. 

Saint James English Evangelical Lutheran Chnrch. — This church 
was organized as a result of action taken by a committee appointed at 
61 



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402 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

a meeting of the Hartvvick Synod, held at West Sandlake, N. Y., Octo- 
ber 1 8 and 19, 1888. Of this committee, Rev. Peter FeUs, of St. Paul's 
Lutheran church, Johnstown, was chairman. Efforts were made to 
establish a mission in Gloversville and E. L. Dreibelbis, of Gettysburg 
Theological Seminary, was secured. He visited many of the church 
people with a view ofenlisting their aid in the proposed work. This ini- 
tiatory movement was begun June 23, 1 889, and in three months the mis- 
sion had about fifty-five members. The next important step was to 
secure a suitable house of worship. The German Lutherans of the city, 
under the direction of Alexander Arronet, had built and partially com- 
pleted a brick church on Grand street, near Bleeck.er. They were una- 
ble, however, to finish and occupy the building and it was offered for 
sale. The English Lutherans, under the name of St. James Evangeli- 
cal Lutheran Society, purchased this church and completed it at a total 
cost of about $7,000. It is now worth about $10,000. It was dedi- 
cated Sunday, March 2, 1890, Rev. Peter Felts, of Johnstown, preaching 
the sermon. There were also present Rev. B. F. Fake, of Stone Arabia ; 
Rev. W. C. Poore, of Tribes Hill, and Rev. William Baum, president 
of Hartwick Synod. In the afternoon a general service was held in 
which Revs. James Gardner, C. W. Rowley, and William Baunv took 
part. Rev. A. M. Whetstone made an earnest appeal for financial aid 
to pay the remainder of the church debt, and the sum of $131 was 
secured. At the morning service $1,600 had been promised. Rev. 
Mr. Whetstone was installed as first pastor of the church in the evening, 
the charge to the pastor being given by Rev. William Baum, and the 
charge to the congregation by Rev. B. F, Fake. A collection was also 
taken which amounted to $313, making the total amount raised during 
the day $2,044. 

Although less than three years old, this church, under the zealous 
care of Pastor Whetstone, has grown and prospered, until at present 
there are 215 regular members, with a Sunday school of 230 scholars, 
the superintendent being Alden Hart. The present officers of the 
society are as follows : Elders, Jacob Haag, Jacob Weber, John Weintz, 
Jost Grebe ; deacons, Alden Hart, Judson R. Empie, William Klohck, 
William Oathout; secretary of the council, Alden Hart; treasurer, 
Robert L. Barringer, 



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YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION. 403 

Young Men's Christian Association of Gloversville — On Thursday 
evening, March 2, 1882, twelve young men representing the several 
churches of the village of Gloversville, met in the office of Churchill & 
Getman on Main street, to take into consideration the duty of organiz- 
ing a Young Men's Christian Association. After an opinion expressed 
by every one present, on motion of F. W Stowell, it was resolved unan- 
imously " That it is the sense of this meeting that a Young Men's 
Christian Association be organized in this village." On the following 
Tuesday a union meeting was held in the lecture room of the First M. 

E. church. Remarks were made by a number of prominent citizens 
favoring the work, after which a committee on organization was ap- 
pointed by the chair. On Tuesday, March 14, a meeting was held in 
the lecture room of the First Presbyterian church, at which time a con- 
stitution and by-laws were adopted ; charter members to the number of 
thirty-six paid their first annual dues, and a committee appointed for 
the nomination of officers reported as follows: For president. Judge A. 
D. L. Baker; vice-president, E. A. Spencer ; secretary, Lewis A. Tate ; 
treasurer, W. D. West ; directors, Hervey Ross, F. Egelston, L. K. 
Brown, C. M. Lefler, P. J. Keck and Earl Karker. Before a vote was 
taken Judge Baker positively refused to accept the nomination and the 
name of John L. Getman was substituted. A ballot was then taken and 
the above named officers elected. 

On Friday evening, March 17, a public meeting was held in the 
Baptist church with addresses by Rev. George A. Hall, state secretary ; 
D. H. Vaii Huesen, of Johnstown, and E. L. Mattice, of Fort Plain. 

On Sunday afternoon, March 19, 1882, the first public prayer meet- 
ing was held in the lecture room of the Congregational church, being 
attended by about 200 persons. The meeting was conducted by Earl 
Karker and was both profitable and spiritual. The first regular meet- 
ing of the association was held Tuesday evening, March 21, at which 
time about 150 new members joined. Up to that time the association 
had been without rooms, having held their meetings in the several 
churches from time to time, but at a meeting held April 18, the board 
of managers were instructed to secure the rooms on the third floor of 

F. M. Young's building on Main street, and fit them for use. 

On Tuesday, June 6, 1882, the first annual meeting was held, at which 
time the work was thoroughly discussed, and among other points it was 



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404 II /STORY OF FULTON COUNTV. 

decided that on account of the frequent unavoidable absence of the 
secretary, an assistant should be provided, and George M. Stone was 
unanimously elected to the position. On August i6, 1882, a committee 
was appointed to consider the advisability of securing a ticket, as a body, 
at a reduced rate, in the Levi Parson's library, in order to give members 
of the Y. M. C. A., the privileges of the reading room and library. 
The committee reported favorably and such a ticket was purchased for 
the sum of $50. 

During the first nine months of the association's existence the work 
had been done entirely by the members, but its constant growth and 
increasing usefulness demanded that a man be secured to give his whole 
time to the work, and President Getman was appointed to engage a 
general secretary as soon as possible. At first it was hoped to obtain a 
Mr. Shaw, of Indiana, but as he was not available the committee made 
a further effort, finally succeeding in securing W. I Sweet, who on De- 
cember 20, 1882, engaged in the work at a salary of $50 a month. 

About this time the association made application to become a mem- 
ber of the State Association, and was in due time admitted. At a 
meeting held March 15, 1883, it was decided to change the Association's 
quarters, and hence rooms on the third floor of the Hanson building 
were secured for one year at the nominal price of $}o. The second 
annual meeting of the Association was held June 5, 1883, and the follow- 
ing officers elected : President, John L. Getman ; vice-president, Melvin 
L. Fuller; secretary, Charles S. Schermerhorn ; treasurer, C. S. Hilde- 
brandt. 

On January 28, 1884, General Secretary Sweet tendered his resigna- 
tion which was accepted, and L. L. Shaffer was elected to fill the vacancy. 
During the spring of that year the association found itself in financial 
trouble, but by dint of hard effort it was enabled to tide over the diffi- 
culty with safety. At the third annual meeting held June 10, 1884, the 
following officers were elected : President, Lewis A. Tate ; vice-presi- 
dent, Frank Burton ; secretary, Frank Egelston, treasurer, W. D. 
West. 

On July 8, 1884, L. L. Shaffer discontinued his services as secretary. 
In October of the same year the Third District N. Y. State Y. M. C. A., 
held their annual convention at Gloversville and was entertained by the 



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YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION. 405 

local association. On June 9, 1885, the fourth annual meeting and 
election of officers was held with the following result : President, Lewis 
A. Tate; vice-president, Albert P. Slade; secretary, Jay O. Karker ; 
treasurer, Dr. P. R. Furbeck. 

On January 28, 1886, a meeting of the association was held, at which 
it was thought best to disband and then reorganize under the direction 
of Assistant State Secretary Stanley, who was present. The plan was 
carried into effect, and after reorganization the following officers were 
elected : President, Dr. P. R. Furbeck , first vice-president, George W. 
Stone; second vice-president, W. F. Burton; recording secretary, W. 
N.Stewart; treasurer, W. D. West. After its reorganization the asso- 
ciation seemed to grasp more thoroughly the genius of association 
work, in its peculiar field, and it became more specific in its efforts for 
young men. In the summer of 1886 another change of rooms was 
made, qaarters being secured in the Littauer block. About the same 
time it was also decided to again secure the services of a general secre- 
tary, and Charles H. Harrington was employed. The anniversary for 
1887 was held in the Fremont Street Methodist church and was ad- 
dressed by D. J. De Camp, of Schenectady. Dr. Furbeck remained 
president five years and did a very effective work in that capacity. In 
the spring of 1887 the association changed quarters again, moving to 
the Helwig building on North Main street. Mr. Harrington remained 
as secretary until May, 1889. when he accepted a call from the associa- 
tion at Batavia and moved to that place. He was succeeded by H. L. 
Sellick, who remained about eight months, his successor being W M. 
Scott. During the year in which Mr. Scott acted as secretary the asso- 
ciation moved to the building which they now occupy at the corner of 
Main and Fremont streets. 

At the annual meeting held in February, 1891, the following officers 
were elected, and continue in service: President, James S. Burr; first 
vice president, J. M.Thompson; second vice president, Hervey Ross; 
recording secretary, E. P. Bellows; treasurer, M. V. B. Stetson; trustees, 
Daniel B. Judson, Charles Keifer, Aaron Simmons, Dr. P. R. Furbeck, 
Daniel Hays, James S. Burr, and William C. Mills; board of directors, 
James S. Burr, J. M. Thompson, E. C. Collins, O. L. Everest, E. P. 
Bellows, M. V. B. Stetson, E. A. Spencer, Hervey Ross, C. W. Scher- 



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4o6 HISTORY OP FULTON COUNTY. 

merhorn, A. Hart, Adam Hunter, N. D. Wilson, W. N. Stewart, and Dr. 
W. S. Garnsey. 

On May 15, 1 89 1, John F. Moore accepted an invitation to serve as 
general secretary, a position lie has since filled with much credit. In 
March, 1892, Elson Sheffield was engaged as assistant secretary. 

The association, during the ten years of its existence, has had its full 
share of difficulties and perplexities, but it has come out of them all 
with increased usefulness and extended influence, At present the mem- 
bership is about 400; all branches of the work are flourishing, and the 
future is bright with promise. 

Prospect Hill Cemetery of Gloversville. — The history of this beautiful 
place of mortuary rest dates from the year 1854, prior to which time 
most of the interments were made in the old burying- ground at Kings- 
boro In order to organize a cemetery association, a public meeting 
was held August 12, 1854, with Allen C. Churchill, chairman, and D. 
M. Burr, secretary. The deUberations of the occasion resulted in the 
formation of " The Rural Cemetery Association of Gloversville," and 
on the 24th of the same month the following officers and trustees were 
elected : President, Jennison G. Ward ; vice-president, Alanson Judson ; 
secretary, E. L. Burton ; treasurer, Charles Sunderlin ; trustees, the 
foregoing names, with Zina Case, Rufus Washburn, Henry C. Thomas, 
Timothy W. Miller, and David Spaulding. 

A committee, consisting of Charles Sunderlin and Rufus Washburn, 
was appointed to consider several available localities for cemetery pur- 
poses, and in due time it decided that a plot containing twenty acres, 
situated about one-quarter of a mile east of the village, and belonging 
to Othniel Gorton, was the most desirable. This ground was pur- 
chased September 4, 1854, the price paid being $1,000. The soil was 
inferior, being sand and unfit for culture, but it was admirably adapted 
to its new use, both in its location and its natural features. The first 
burial made in the new cemetery was that of Lewis H. Meade, Novem- 
ber 6, 1854. 

Subsequently four additional acres of the Gorton estate were pur- 
chased, and also eighteen acres adjoining, thus increasing the cemetery 
to about forty-two acres, which is its present area. 

At a meeting of the trustees, held January 19, 1855, »t was voted to 
petition the legislature to change the name of the incorporators from 



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SECRET SOCIETIES. 407 

the Rural Cemetery Association to the Prospect Hill Cemetery Asso- 
ciation, a name which has thus far been permanent. The cemetery con- 
tains at the present time some very handsome monuments and much 
care is given every year to beautifying the grounds. 

Jennison G. Ward remained president of the association until No- 
vember 16, i860, when he was succeeded by Rufus Washburn. Mr. 
Washburn was recently removed by death, and his successor, James M. 
Thompson, the present incumbent, was elected March 5, 1892. Charles 
Snnderlin, the first treasurer, held that office until the time of his death, 
as did also his brother, John Sunderlin, who succeeded him. William 
A. Kasson, the present treasurer, followed Mr, Sunderlin in that office. 
Elisha L. Burton, who first held the office of secretary, continued in 
service until removed by death, when, on February 2, 1863, Jennison 
G. Ward was elected to that office. His successor was Joseph S. 
Heacock, who assumed the duties of the office December 11, 1869. 
W. H. Place, the present secretary, was elected to that office April 15, 
1872. It is a remarbable fact that of the nine original trustees not one 
is now living, the last surviving member of that board being Rufus 
Washburn, who died early in 1892. 

A full list of the officers of the Cemetery Association at present is as 
follows : President, James M. Thompson ; treasurer, William A. Kas- 
son ; secretary, W. H. Place ; trustees, James M. Thompson, William 
A. Kasson, W. H. Place, D. B. Judson, Daniel Potter, D. W. Smith, 
John C. Allen, and Aaron Simmons. The vacancy in the board caused 
by the death of Rufus Washburn was filled by the election of A. W. 
Locklin at the annual meeting held on the first Tuesday in June, 1892. 

Masonic and other Secret Societies. — Gloversville Lodge, No. 429, F. 
and A. M. was organized and instituted April 9, 1857. It was consti- 
tuted and consecrated July 27, of the same year. Timothy W. Miller 
took a very active part in bringing about the establishment of the lodge. 
He was at that time a member of St. Patrick's Lodge of Johnstown, be- 
ing a son of Dr. James W. Miller, of that place. He came to Glovers- 
ville as one of the founders of the Fulton County Bank and held the 
position of teller in that institution for several years. He was al.so ac- 
tive in securing the organization of the first Episcopal society in Glov- 
ersville. In later years he returned to Johnstown, where he remained 



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4o8 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

until his death. The other members who assisted in organizing the 
Gloversville lodge were Moses S. Adams, William Ward, John Sunder- 
lin, Daniel Potter, George W. Hogeboom, all of St. Patrick's Lodge; 
also William S. Ingraham, and Flavel B. Sprague, of Fish House Lodge, 
which had originally been organized at Northville and subsequently re- 
moved to Fish House; and John Hyman, of Temple Lodge, No. 14, 
Troy. W. M. John L. Lewis, then grand master of the state, appointed 
brothers Miller, Adams, and Ingraham, respectively, worshipful master 
and also senior and junior warden. The first initiation took place im- 
mediately after organization and while the lodge was working under 
dispensation. Nathan J. Burton and Albert W.. Gorton were the first 
persons initiated, and then came Harvey C. Jones, J. S. Green, John 
Reddish, Seymour Sexton, and A. C. Kasson. After the warrant had 
been granted, a full set of oflScers were chosen and installed as follows : 
W. M., Timothy W^ Miller; S. W., William S. Ingraham ; J. W., Na- 
than J. Burton ; treasurer, John Sunderlin ; secretary, Albert W. Gor- 
ton ; S. D., William Ward ; J. D., John Hyman ; masters of ceremonies, 
Seymour Sexton and John W. Peek ; tyler, John S. Green. The or- 
ganization took place in Frederick Young's building on North Main 
street, where the lodge continued to hold meetings for eighteen years. 
In 1875 lodge rooms were leased in the Stewart building, 21 West Ful- 
ton street, at which place the regular communications are still held. 

Among the interesting relics in the possession of Gloversville Lodge 
are the records of Constellation Lodge, No. 1.03, which was organized 
in Mayfield, March 7, 1804. This old lodge had the power to meet 
alternately at Mayfield and Kingsboro, and it held monthly communi- 
cations at these places until 1835. Its first worshipful master was 
Oliver Rice, who, when in his eightieth year, made the Gloversville 
Lodge a visit shortly after its organization. Its first senior warden was 
Benjamin Craft, and its first junior warden, Ripley Merrill. Among 
the old and well-known Masons of this ancient lodge, who have served 
as its worshipful masters at different times, and were buried with Ma- 
sonic honors by 429, were Oliver Rice, Collins Odell, Charles Harts- 
horn, Stephen Livingston and Alinos Matthews. 

The following list comprises the names of the past masters of 
Gloversville Lodge, No. 429, with the dates of their incumbency: 



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SECRET SOCIETIES. 409 

Timothy W. Miller, 1857-58; Nathan J. Burton, 1859; George J. 
Newton, 1860-61 ; Seymour Sexton, 1862; George J. Newton, 1863- 
64-65; Miles Brown, 1866; George J. Newton, 1867; John S. King, 
1868; George J. Newton, 1869; Edmund P. Fox, 1870-71-72; James 
M. Kennedy, 1873-74; Andrew R. Bruce, 1875-76; George K. Hilts, 
1877; Alexander D. Comrie, 1878-79; Eugene Beach, 1880-81-82; 
Marcus H. Christie, 1883-84; Cyrus Stewart, 1885-86-87; Alvan 
Quackenbush, 1888; Cyrus Stewart, 1889-90-91; Newton G. Snow, 
1892. 

The present officers are: W. M., Newton G. Snow; S. W., Arthur 
E. Tuck; J. W , Nicholas M. Banker; treasurer, Jerry A; Van Auken ; 
secretary, Charles W. Stewart; assistant secretary, Albert W. Gorton; 
S D., D. W. S. Kearney; J. D., Eben Van Evera; organist, E. P. Fox ; 
chaplain, Solomon Jeffers; S. M. C , Frank Tiedeman ; J. M. C, John 
M. Noonan ; marshal, A. H. Lengfield ; tyler, Ezra D. Bice; finance 
committee, A. W. Gorton, William F. Cole, Morris Klein ; trustees, 
George H. Hilts, A. D. L. Baker, Hiram Darling. The lodge contains 
214 master Masons. 

Holy Cross Commandery, No. 51, Knights Templar, is stationed at 
Gloversville, and holds regular convocations in the Masonic hall, 
Stewart building, 21 West Fulton street. Dispensation was granted to 
this commandery by the Grand Commandery of the state of New York, 
December 20, 1870, and the charter was received October 11, 1871. 
Among those who joined in the petition for institution were members 
of Temple Commandery, No. 2, of Albany ; Utica Commandery, No. 
3, of Utica, and St. George's Commandery, No. 37, of Schenectady. 
Sir Knight James M. Dudley, of Utica, No. 3, was appointed eminent 
commander; Sir Knight Wilham P. Brayton, of Temple, No. 2, gen- 
eralissimo ; and Sir Knight Nicholas Wemple, of St. George's, No. 37, 
captain general. 

The commandery was instituted by the officers of Apollo Com- 
mandery, No. 15, of Troy, at the request of the R. E. Gr. Com. 
George Babcock. Twenty- six companions received the orders of the 
Red Cross and of the Temple on the night of opening. In April fol- 
lowing, Sir Knight Brayton sent in his resignation to the grand com- 
mander, and Sir Knight George J. Newton was appointed to fill the 
52 



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4 to HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

vacancy. The late James M. Dudley, whose death occurred recently at 
Johnstown, was the first eminent commander. Sir Knight Dudley w;is 
a highly honored member of the Masonic fraternity, and also was a 
prominent and successful member of the P'ulton county bar. He de- 
parted this world after a long and useful life of four score years, and was 
lamented by all who knew him. 

Among the past commanders of this body, who are still connected 
with the commandery, are Edmund P. Fox, Alexander I). Comrie, Os- 
car Woodworth, Alvan V. Quackenbush, Daniel F. Cowles, Albert N. 
Simmons, and Simeon S. Gross. The commandery mourns the death 
of Cyrus Stewart, one of its past commanders, which occurred April 
15, 1892. 

The first officers of this body were as follows: E. C, James M. 
Dudley; generalissimo, Cyrus Stewart; captain general, William H. 
Shaw; prelate, Edmund P. Fox; S. W., Charles Smith; J. W., Thomas 
M. Beach ; treasurer, Lewis P. Johnson ; recorder, George Shurbourne ; 
standard-bearer, William H. Munroe; sword-bearer, Marcus F; Pierson ; 
warder, George W. C. Gillette; sentinel, Alexander D. Comrie. 

The present officers are: E. C, William H. Browne; generalissimo, 
James Frank McKee ; captain- general, Charles McCarty ; prelate, Ed- 
mund P. Fox; S. W., Albert N. Simmons; J. W., Alexander D. Com- 
rie; treasurer, Alvan V. Quackenbush ; recorder, Albert W. Gorton; 
standard-bearer, Eugene W. Peck; sword-bearer, Howard G. Dewey; 
warder, Harry A. Phillips; first guard, WiiUam E. Young; second 
guard, Harrison R. Hall ; third guard, Milford F. Button ; sentinel, 
Ezra D. Bice. 

Odd Fellows. — The first lodge of Odd Fellows in Gloversville was in- 
stituted by D. D. G. M. Lindsey, March 13, 1848. It was known as 
Gloversville Lodge, No. 335, I. O. O. F., and its charter members were 
Augustus Cheadel, Augustus Campbell, Richard Dyer, Sherwood Hag- 
gart, Henry H. Leonard, William Ward, jr , and Rufus Washburn, jr. 
The first officers of this lodge were Augustus Cheadel, N. G. ; Augus- 
tus Campbell, V. G. ; William Ward, recording secretary ; H. H. Leon- 
ard, permanent secretary ; and Sherwood Haggart, treasurer. In June, 
1850, five members withdrew to form a lodge at Northville. In July of 
the same year the number of the Gloversville Lodge was changed to 



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SECRET SOCIETIES — NEWSPAPERS. 411 

84. The lodge surrendered its charter and became extinct in May, 
185;. 

A dispensation was granted by the standing committee of the Right 
Worthy Grand Lodge of the state of New York, and presented by D. 

D. G. M. David De Forest, of Amsterdam, N. Y., bearirgdate Decem- 
ber 23, 1869, to the following Ancient Odd Fellows: John S. Green, 

E. N. Spencer, John Drake, William Case, C. R. Bellows, Niles Fair- 
banks, Moses Oderkirk, W. H. Demarest, James Berry, M. D., Aaron 
Simmons, N. D. Phelps, A. J. Kasson and Sherman W. Case, all of 
whom were formerly members of Gloversville Lodge No. 84, of North- 
ern New York. This resulted in the institution of the present lodge, 
which received its charter January 12, 1870, and is known and hailed as 
Gloversville Lodge, No. 228, I. O. O. F. The first officers were John 
Drake, N. G. ; John S. Green, V. G. ; A. W. Gorton, secretary; and 
A J. Kasson, treasurer. Much credit is due to A. W. Gorton, who de- 
voted himself zealously to the cause and was one of the prime movers in 
bringing about the institution of this prosperous lodge. The present 
membership is 117, and the officers are, George H. Cummings, N. G. ; 
Charles H. Bennett, V. G. ; J. E. Belden, secretary ; J. N. Face, treas- 
urer. The lodge was recently incorporated under the state laws gov- 
erning such societies, with the following trustees: C. S. Cummings, A. 
L. Carpenter and David Martin. 

Gloversville Encampment, No. 49, L O. O. F., a higher branch of the 
order, was instituted August 17, 1870. It was formed May 31, 1870, 
by Patriarchs George Van Kleeck, John W. Peek, Alexander Baker, 
George W. Marley, Orlando Cady and John H. Drake. The first offi- 
cers were installed by D. D. G. P. David De Forest, as follows : Orlando 
Cady, C. P. ; George W. Marley, H. P. ; John H. Drake, S. W. ; 
John W. Peek, J. W. ; Alexander Baker, treasurer; A. W. Gorton, 
scribe. The present membership is forty -five and the officers are J. H. 
Snell, C. P. ; Charles Bennet, S. W. ; D A. Hays, H. P. ; Charles 
Mead, J. W. ; J. H. Willsey, scribe ; David Martin, treasurer. 

The Gloversville Standard was the first newspaper published in this 
place. It was established in December, 1856, by William H. Case, who 
conducted it until March, i860, when it came under the control of A. 
Pierson. In January, 1861, George W. Heaton purchased the paper 



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412 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

and conducted it until his death, which occurred ten years afterward. 
About two years before Mr. Heaton's death he sold a half interest to 
J. R. Arrowsmith, who afterward became sole proprietor. 

The Standard was established as a Republican paper soon after the 
birth of that famous party, and continued to advocate its principles 
until the liberal Republican movement in 1872, when, under the man- 
agement of Mr. Arrowsmith it supported the presidential canvass of 
Horace Greeley. The transition from liberal republicanism to straight- 
out democracy was natural, and when in June, 1875, the Standard was 
purchased by Hervey Ross (an old line Democrat), it at once held the 
position as the democratic organ of Fulton county. When Mr. Ross 
assumed its control it was a small folio sheet of limited circulation, but 
it soon grew to a six column quarto, while its readers during the first 
year increased threefold. In the spring of 1876 the Standard ab- 
sorbed The Century, then recently established in Gloversville by C. G. 
Johnston, and in January, 1877, added to its circulation the subscrip- 
tion list of the Gloversville Times. 

In August, 1888, the Standard was changed from a weekly to a 
semi-weekly publication in order to meet popular demand, and on the 
1st of December, 1890, the daily issue began. This efifort, though con- 
sidered a venture, was a pronounced success from the start. Glovers- 
ville had ceased to be a weekly newspaper town, and had not only 
passed the semi-weekly stage, but demanded daily service. The busi- 
ness increased so rapidly, with the attendant cares and responsibilities, 
that Mr. Ross soon found it necessary to secure a partner, and on the 
9th day of February, 1 891, he sold a half interest to Charles H Hill, 
and the establishment is now conducted by the firm of Ross & Hill. 
The Daily Standard has been twice enlarged since its first appearance 
and is now an eight column folio sheet, handsomely printed and well 
edited. 

Ross & Hill also publish the Weekly Stattdard and the Hamilton 
County Press. 

The Gloversville Intelligencer, a weekly newspaper, was first issued 
in January, 1867, when the village contained scarcely more than 4,000 
inhabitants. Charles H. Kelly was the editor and publisher, and its 
birth place was a cramped upper story in Park's block on Main street, 



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NEWSPAPERS. 413 

which was subsequently destroyed by the disastrous fire of 1877. The 
office possessed but a very limited amount of type, the paper was a 
small six- column sheet, printed on a hand press, and the circulation 
hardly exceeded 350 copies. When the paper was but a few months 
old, Mr. Kelly died, and was succeeded by George M. Thompson, who 
altered its political complexion so that from an Independent it became 
a Republican journal. He also removed the office to more suitable 
quarters, and laid the foundation for an extensive business. In July, 
1870, Mr. Thompson began the Fulton county Republican, and under 
that title opened a well equipped office in Johnstown, and also intro- 
duced a cylinder press, upon which both newspapers were printed, a 
method which (with better machinery and largely increased facilities) 
was continued down to the dissolution of Blunck & Leaning in 1888. 

In February, 1877, E. W. Capron, of Norwich, Chenango county, 
became associated in the publishing business with Mr. Thompson, and 
in August of the same year the latter retired, his interest being trans- 
ferred to Hiram L. Ward, also of Norwich. The papers continued to 
be published by Capron & Ward until January 9, 1879, when impaired 
health occasioned the retirement of Mr. Capron, and Mr. Ward remained 
in sole possession until April, 188 1. A new partnership was then 
formed under the title of Ward & Blunck, the junior partner being from 
Cooperstown. This union, however, was brief, for the senior partner 
was soon attacked by an incurable malady, hence, in August, 1881 
(shortly prior to his death), he sold his interest to W. E. Leaning, and 
the business was conducted until March i, 1888, under the firm name 
of Blunck & Leaning. Mr. Leaning then assumed entire control of the 
Intelligencer, which he continued to publish in Gloversville, while Mr. 
Blunck conducted the Republican at Johnstown. The Intelligencer re- 
mained under the control of Mr. Leaning until his death, May 15, 1890. 
It was then conducted by his administrators until February i, 1891, 
when it was purchased by W. B. Collins and Mrs. F. M. Leaning, who 
are the present proprietors. From December I, 1890, until February 
I, 1 89 1, the Intelligencer was published daily. The offices of \\ic^ Daily 
Leader and Intelligencer were then consolidated and the two papers 
have since then been published by the firm of Collins & Leaning. The 
weekly edition of the Intelligencer includes an edition of the Broad- 



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414 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

albiii Herald, edited by B. C. Smith. The paper is strongly Republi- 
can, and always supports the best interests of that party. 

The Gloversville Leader xa^A^ its first appearance in August, 1887, 
as an independent daily newspaper. Fay Shaul was both editor and 
proprietor until March 19, 1888, when W. B. Collins, a young man who 
came to Gloversville from Albany, purchased a half interest, and the 
firm continued the Leader as an independent daily until the next Sep- 
tember, when it was made a Republican paper, and supported Harrison 
and Morton. Until then it had been a laborious task for its publishers 
to make both ends meet. Several attempts had been made during 
previous years to establish daily newspapers in Gloversville, all of which 
had proved failures. Fortunately for the Leader, the change in politi- 
cal views was the beginning of success. Thenceforward the paper has 
increased in size and importance and is now welcomed by many who 
once thought a daily newspaper could not live in a place so near the 
large commercial centres. The partnership of Shaul & Collins contin- 
ued until September, 1889, when Mr. Collins purchased his partner's in- 
terest and conducted the paper alone until February i, 1891, when (as 
has been previously stated) the Leader and the Intelligencer were con- 
solidated under the firm name of Collins & Leaning. 

C. W. Brockway, who has been connected with the Intelligencer 
twenty years, is city editor. Mr. Collins writes its editorials, a^nd the 
gratifying success of the Leader has been due in a great measure to his 
untiring energy and perseverance. 

Extinct Daily Newspapers of Gloversville. — The first daily news- 
paper in Gloversville was published in 1872 and was known as the 
Daily Times, but it only had a sickly life of two months. The Daily 
Advertiser, published by John H. Burtch, made its fir.st appearance in 
March, 1873, and had a still briefer existence, its duration being only 
thirty four days. The Evening News was started in April, 1884, by 
J. W. F. Ruttenbur (from Newburgh), who also conducted the Fonda 
Democrat. The publication of the paper was discontinued in the follow- 
ing August. The Daily Times (under a different management than that 
of the first paper of that name) was started in connection with the Intel- 
ligencer \x\ November, 1884, but was only published for the short space 
of one week, 



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HOTELS. 



415 



Hotels. — The first tavern within the present limits of Gloversville is 
said to have stood opposite the northeast corner of Prospect Hill Cem- 
etery, and was kept by Horace Burr from the beginning of the century 
until 1807, when it was discontinued. 

The first hotel in the central part of the village was the Temperance 
House, built by H. L. Burr in 1835. It was the first public building of 
any note, and stood on the west side of Main street opposite the old 
Baptist church. James Burr, the father of the builder, opened the 
house as a hotel in 1836, and continued as its proprietor for twelve 
years. 

The Windsor Hotel, at the corner of Main and East Fulton streets, 
was built during the years 1856 and 1857 ^'^ ^ cost of $65,000, by 
Samuel S. and Darius Mills. It was known as the Mills House, and 
Samuel S. Mills was the proprietor. It is spoken of by Horace Sprague 
in 1857, as forming "an era in the building operations of the 
village." The same writer also speaks of it as " rising in solitary gran- 
deur, and dwarfing by contrast all surrounding structures." It was 
indeed a great undertaking to build so costly a structure in a village 
which at that time could scarcely have had mo're than three thousand 
inhabitants. The hotel was lighted by gas and heated by steam, both 
of which were created for the purpose on the premises. It afterwards 
came into the possession of John J. Mason, the present owner, and was 
known as the Mason House. The name was subsequently changed to 
the Windsor Hotel, and A. D. Kibbe became proprietor and conducted 
the house for a number of years, gaining for the hotel a wide and envi- 
able reputation. He was succeeded by the present proprietor, L. H. 
Moore, October 19, 1891. 

Tke Alvord House, situated at the junction of Main and Cayadutta 
streets, was built by C. G. Alvord in 1866, and opened by him as a 
hotel the following year. It stands on the site of the old James Burr 
residence, one of the first brick dwellings in the village. Mr. Alvord 
continued to conduct the hotel successfully for about twenty-five years, 
becoming widely and popularly known among travelers as a good and 
generous boniface. His house was always well filled, and his table en- 
joyed a first class patronage. He was succeeded as proprietor by Will- 
iam B. Green, who conducted the hotel until July 8, 1891, being followed 



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4.6 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

by Davis & Streeter, under whose management steam heat and elec- 
tricity were introduced and various improvements made, making the 
liouse one of the pleasantest in the county. On April 8, 1892, George 
W. Davis, the senior member of the firm, purchased his partner's inter- 
est and has since conducted the house alone. It is built of brick, four 
stories high, and contains between sixty and seventy rooms. The 
hotel was opened as a temperance house, and when it was considered 
essential to change it to a licensed hotel Mr. Alvord encountered the 
antagonism of the prohibition element of the village, which he contested 
in the courts and finally succeeded in obtaining the privilege of opening 
a bar, which has ever since been maintained. 

The Palmer House, located on Cayadutta street between School and 
Fulton, was built and opened by Robert Palmer in the year 1866. He 
managed and operated it until 1891, when it was taken in charge by 
Charles Palmer, his son. The house has accommodations for forty 
guests, and has been ever since its erection a temperance hotel, no in- 
toxicating liquors of any kind having been sold under its roof. 

Among other hotels in Gloversville, established in recent years, may 
be mentioned the Keystone, at the corner of Main and Washington ; 
the Germania, on North Main street near Fremont, and the Martin 
House at the corner of West Fulton and School streets. 

The city has recently sustained a great loss in the burning of a five 
story brick hotel, at the corner of Bleecker and Church streets, when 
just approaching completion. 

MANUFACTURING INTERESTS. 

Gloves, Leather, etc. — In reviewing the origin, progress and develop- 
ment of glove making in Fulton county, the writer has endeavored to 
present concisely a combination of the most important facts connected 
with its history. These facts pertain to Gloversville as well as other 
portions of the county, and may be found in an earlier chapter of this 
work. 

Gloversville has, from its earliest settlement, been specially a glove 
manufacturing centre, and it is to-day the largest glove producing com- 
munity in this country ; perhaps in the world. The evidences of this 



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GLOVE MANUFACTURERS. 417 

are apparent on every hand. In those portions of the city occupied by 
the leather-mills, one can see acres of lamb, sheep, calf, hog, goat, deer, 
kangaroo, and dog-skins hung upon racks to dry. Cart loads of skins 
in every process of dressing are met on every street and alley, and every 
thoroughfare contains its share of glove shops. A stranger who may 
happen to be near one of the large factories at the noon or supper hour 
is naturally surprised at the crowds both young and old, that hurry 
forth from their labors, but he will find that our working population, 
great as it may be, will compare favorably with that of the most favored 
manufacturing towns. 

The assertion has been made that every business interest in Glovers - 
ville is dependent directly or indirectly upon the glove industry, and 
careful investigation will prove the truth of the statement. A conserva- 
tive estimate places the amount of capital invested in the different 
branches of industry in the city at $2,500,000. 

The following sketches of prominent manufacturers have been collected 
with much care and they do much to illustrate the extent which glove 
making has reached in Gloversville. 

Daniel B. Judson, manufacturer of gloves and mittens, 15 East State 
street. The name of Judson has been identified with the glove and 
leather trade in Fulton and Montgomery counties for nearly three- 
quarters of a century. Elisha Judson was engaged in it as early as 1824 
or 1825, and Daniel B., his son, has been manufacturing gloves since 
1850. He first began making a few leather mittens at the house of his 
father, about two miles north of Kingsboro, removing to the latter 
place abount 185 i. He occupied a rented shop for two years, locating 
in 1853 o" ths site which he has made the scene of his industry for 
nearly half a century. During this long period he has manufactured 
gloves to the value of between seven and eight million dollars. His 
plant includes, besides several commodious brick buildings used as glove 
factories, two large leather- mills, where he manufactures and dresses 
his own leather. He employs between 200 and 250 laborers, of which 
number a large proportion work outside of the factory. Mr. Judson 
also owns and operates two general stores, one located in the city and 
the other at Northville. His speciality in the glove is the production 
of heavy goods frorh buck, calf, horse-hide and sheep-skin, although 
53 



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41 8 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

kid goods are also manufactured to a considerable extent. The output 
in 1 89 1 was about 80,000 dozen. 

Daniel Hays & Company, manufacturers of fine leather gloves and 
mittens, occupy spacious factory buildings at 157 and 159 West Fulton 
street. The foundation for this establishment was laid by Daniel Hays, 
a native of Fulton county, who came to Gloversville in 185 1, from 
Scotch Bush. He began by learning the trade thoroughly, being first 
regularly employed by William C. Mills, in 1851, working in the little 
old red mill which stood near the present site of the railway station in 
Gloversville. He soon acquired a knowledge of the several branches 
of tanning and milling leather, often working over the beam until late 
at night, and arising next morning at sunrise to resume his labor. He 
finally established himself as a manufacturer in 1854, taking his leather, 
after it was cut, from house to house in a wheelbarrow to have the 
gloves made. In 1855 he was made foreman in the glove factory of 
Ward & McNab, where he continued until December, 1857, when he 
found himself broken down in health, and, upon the advice of his phy- 
sician, left Gloversville for California. Unwilling to separate entirely 
from business, he went into the mines, and at the same time sold gloves 
to the jobbers in San Francisco. A little more than a year sufficed to 
restore his health, and in May, 1859, ^^ returned to Gloversville and 
embarked again in the glove business. He was interested for one year 
with his father-in-law, Elias G. Ward, and then bought out the latter's 
interest. He was at that time located on Elm street, where he remained 
four years. In this factory (about i860) he began cutting the cele- 
brated Plymouth pattern gloves, which were then made from smoked, 
oil, and Indian-tan leather. The Plymouth color he introduced into 
Fulton county in 11874. This color was first made prominent by Ward 
& McQuestion, of Plymouth, N. H., and Mr. Hays felt their competi- 
tion so keenly, that he determined to secure the color. To do this he 
was compelled to secure the services of one of the manufacturing tan- 
ners in Plymouth (Curtis S. Cummings), who came to Gloversville and 
remained in the employ of Mr. Hays for eight or nine years. In 1864 
Mr. Hays purchased the property at the corner of Main and Fremont 
streets, now occupied by the Young Men's Christian Association. Here 
he was located for twenty- five years, in which period of time he intro- 



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S)-?:i^^^^UA 




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GLOVE MANUFACTURERS. 419 

duced many important improvements in the manufacture of gloves. He 
introduced power to propel sewing machines in 1867, using a caloric 
engine, and during the same year he also began the use of waxed 
thread on gloves. 

Contemporary manufacturers were inclined to cry "hard seams," but 
one by one they saw the advantage of the change, and it is now used 
by all buckskin manufacturers. During the entire time of his occupan- 
cy of the Main street shop he tanned all of his own leather, using a 
mill on West Fulton street owned by Charles Mills. The value of the 
carpincho, or South American water hog, became known early in the 
sixties, and Mr. Hays tanned many thousand of these skins both during 
and since the war. He was probably the first to tan them in large 
quantities. He was also the first manufacturer to work the Para deer 
skin successfully. He discovered that these skins were naturally so 
tight in their nature that the usual practice of liming them before friez- 
ing, only tended to make them tighter and more impracticable for glove 
leather. He experimented with the skins, using no lime whatever, 
simply water- friezing them, and was gratified by obtaining a beautiful 
and elastic skin, which yielded him a large profit for more than ten 
years, following i860. He practically controlled the market on these 
skins for several years, and even after they began to come in larger 
quantities than he could possibly handle, he sold them to his neighbor 
manufacturers. He was the first to introduce the emery wheel, which 
took the place of the old fashioned bucktail. This was about 1874, and 
at nearly the same time he introduced the blower, a contrivance to take 
the dust from the finishing wheels. It was in 1874 he conceived the 
idea of drying the skins under cover and erected a dry-shed, which is 
still standing near his present mill. Prior to that time leather manu- 
facturers in Fulton county had dried their skins in the open yard. The 
sheds are of particular value in hot or rainy weather, preventing in one 
case, the hot rays of the summer sun, and in the other keeping the skins 
dry during a rain, especially while in the parchment state. Mr. Hays 
came into possession of the mill property he now occupies on West 
Fulton street, in 1873. The present factory was erected in 1888. It 
is a four- story brick building, 35 by 150 feet in area, fully equipped 
with all modern machinery. The leather-mills are situated a short dis- 



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420 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

tance south of the factory. These mills comprise several buildings and 
contain among other machinery, fourteen double setsof slocks. The beam 
shop has about fifty-six vats, and the product of their facloiy includes 
all kinds of buckskin goods, castor and kid of different styles and colors 
and the well known Plymouth colored buck goods. The factory and 
mill furnish employment to between 250 and 275 laborers, and the 
business will average between $275,000 and $300,000 a year. The 
present firm of Daniel Hays & Company was formed in January, 1890, 
and consists of Daniel Hays and Lewis A Tate. The only other part- 
ner Mr. Hays ever had was William H. Place, who was associated with 
him during 1866. 

Littauer Brothers, glove manufacturers, occupy extensive factory 
buildings at 92 South Main street. This business was founded by Na- 
than Littauer, a native of Breslau, Germany, who came to Gloversville 
when it was a village of only a few hundred inhabitants. In 1850, or 
thereabouts, he started a dry goods store near the corner of Main and 
West Fulton streets, on the site now occupied by a portion of the Lit- 
tauer bui'ding. For nearly forty years he continued in trade in Glov- 
ersville, carrying a complete line of glove furnishings. He began manu- 
facturing gloves about 1866, but prior to that time he had maintained, 
as a dealer, an office in New York city, being the first American to es- 
tablish a glove depot in that city. Nathan Littauer died May 8, 1891. 
It was his business as manufacturer to which his sons succeeded in 1883. 

The present firm is composed of Lucius N., and Eugene Littauer, 
two eldest, who have greatly increased the capacity for manufacture, 
and also the quality of goods produced. Their factory comprises sev- 
eral buildings which have been constructed from time to time as neces- 
sity required. The main building is four stories high, 30 by 278 feet, 
and adjoining is another, three stories high, 25 by 100 feet in area. 
This year an addition has been built 25 by 90 feet, with an L 25 by 30 
feet, all uniform in height. The firm employs on an average 140 cut- 
ters, and have 450 persons working for them in the Gloversville factory. 
Their output at present from this source will average 12,000 dozen per 
month. They also maintain a large leather- mill at Johnstown, inwhich 
they produce an excellent quality of glove leather. The principal prod- 
uct of the factory is buck, hog, calf, and sheep-skin, horsehide, kid, 



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GLOVE MANUFACTURERS. 421 

and mocha gloves and mittens. The annual product of this firm is un- 
doubtedly greater than that of any similar concern in this country. Lit- 
tauer Brothers maintain a fully equipped store and warehouse at 250 
Broadway, New York. 

James H. Burr, manufacturer of gloves and mittens, has occupied his 
present factory, 10 Mill street, since 1853, and his business is really the 
outgrowth of the first glove and mitten establishment in the place. His 
father, James Burr (as is mentioned in another portion of this work), 
made buckskin mittens in 1809, having learned the art of tanning the 
skins from Talmadge Edwards, who was a practical leather dresser. He 
operated a leather mill for many years near the site of Aaron Simmons' 
present mill on Forest street, and during the early part of his career as 
a manufacturer he peddled his gloves through the Mohawk country with 
horse and wagon, after the custom of the old Kingsboro tin manufact- 
urers. The business of James Burr was continued by Francis and David 
M. Burr, under the firm name of F. & D. M. Burr, but later on James 
H. Burr was admitted to the firm, the name then becoming F. & D. M. 
Burr & Company. This partnership continued from 1844 until 1848, 
when the firm was dissolved and James H. Burr established business on 
his own account, which he has conducted ever since. His partners' in- 
terest in the old business was continued (after the death of Francis 
Burr) by H. L. & D. M. Burr, and later still by D. M. Burr alone', un- 
til the time of his death, which occurred in March, 1861. In the pres- 
ent factory of James H. Burr, there are employed an average of sixty 
workers, about thirty of whom are cutters. The capacity of the fac- 
tory is 100 dozen per day, and includes a general line of superior 
goods. 

John C. Allen, glove manufacturer, succeeded to the business of 
Berry & Allen in 1890. This extensive enterprise is the outgrowth of 
a business established by Willard J. Heacock in Kingsboro, in the 
spring of 1846. It was carried on by him until 1861, when he took 
Joseph S. Heacock into partnership, and the firm was known as W. J. 
& J. S. Heacock until 1867, when the house of Heacock, Berry & Com- 
pany was formed by the withdrawal of J. S. Heacock and the addition 
of John R. Berry. In 1868 Mr. Heacock withdrew entirely and the 
firm of Berry & Allen was established. At that time they occupied a 



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42 2 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

building on the north side of Fulton street nearly opposite the present 
factory of Mr. Allen, who has conducted the business alone since the 
death of John R. Berry, which occurred April 30, 1890. He manu- 
factures a general line of gloves and mittens, the Napa dressed buck 
and goat goods having been a special feature of his business for the past 
ten or twelve years. Mr. Allen also operates a leather- mill about a half 
mile south of the city, in which he has been engaged a little more 
than a year. The manufacture of kid leather at this mill marks an epoch 
in the advance of the glove industry in America. Notwithstanding the 
fact that kid skins have been manufactured in the United States to some 
extent, it has mostly been in an experimental way, whereas Mr. Allen 
has taken hold of this new feature of glove leather making with a deter- 
mination to carry it on to ultimate success. The skins dressed are im- 
ported goat skins which come- mostly from Arabia and are the same 
class of skins made in Europe and imported to this country ready to be 
made up into gloves. Aside from this kind of leather, Mr. Allen is 
dressing an imported skin known as the black and white head mochas, 
which also comes from Arabia. He is confident that kid leather for fine 
gloves can be made in America of such quality indeed as will equal 
in every particular that made in Europe. 

J. A. & A. V. Quackenbush, glove manufacturers, are located at 6 
Spring street. This business was established by Van Slyke, Quacken- 
bush & Company in 1857. The firm at that time was composed of 
Richard Van Slyke and J. A. and Adam Quackenbush and .it continued 
three years. J. A. Quackenbush carried on the business alone for a 
period, of fifteen years following 1875. In 1888 the present firm was 
organized. They manufacture grain leather gloves exclusively, their 
product including all styles and descriptions of glo\es and mittens in 
this kind of leather. In 1891 they manufactured 10,000 dozen. 

James McKee & Son manufacture gloves and mittens at 116 South 
Main street. The business was begun by James McKee in 1857, at 
which time he began to manufacture buckskin goods. He has occupied 
his present premises for twenty years or more. J. F. McKee (his son) 
was received as a partner in January, 1890 The firm now manufacture 
calf and goat- skin grain leather goods, making a specialty of genuine 
buckskin gloves. 



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GLOVE MANUFACTURERS. 423 

Henry Shipman, 26 Cayadutta street, began making gloves in Sara- 
toga county in 1857 or '58, but removed to Gloversville eleven years 
ago. He makes a general line of gloves and mittens, including buckskin 
goods of all kinds as well as Plymouth and imported kid leather gloves. 

F. Pauley & Son, glove manufacturers, 53 Bleecker street. This busi- 
ness was established in 1859 by F. Pauley, who began manufacturing 
in a shop on East Fulton street, where he remained two or three years, 
removing thence to his present location. In ■1884 Mr. Pauley admitted 
his son, C. A. Pauley, as a partner, but the latter only continued inact- 
ive business a few years when he died, August 26, 1891. The firm 
name, however, continued unchanged. A general line of buck goods is 
made at this factory, including the celebrated Plymouth gloves. The^ 
output during 1891 was something more that 12,000 dozen. 

Charles W. Rose, glove and mitten manufacturer, 1 1 Pine street. 
Mr. Rose established himself as a manufactiirer about i860. He first 
began cutting gloves at Bennett's Corners, at which place his uncle, 
Willard Rose, had been engaged as a glove manufacturer and farmer 
for many years. Mr. Rose first occupied a shop in Gloversville on 
Bleecker street, 1862. He was also located for five or six years in a 
wooden building at the corner of Main and Fulton streets, since replaced 
by a brick building which he now owns. He erected the factory build- 
ing he now occupies, at the corner of Pine and Mill streets, about 1872. 
Since it was first constructed several additions have been made. Mr. 
Rose makes a specialty of table cut goods of an excellent quality, con- 
sisting almost wholly of imported kid leather. He employs on an aver- 
age seventy- five workers in the factory, where most of the goods are 
made up. There were manufactured at this factory in 1891 between 
nine and ten thousand dozen. 

P. Van Wart, 92 Spring street, began manufacturing gloves in 1861, 
and had been engaged in various branches of the industry since 1837. 
During the late civil war Mr. Van Wart was located in Kingsboro and 
made gloves of all kinds. He now manufactures the one finger harvest 
mittens, of which he made about 800 dozen pairs in 1891. 

The business of Lowrey & Jeffers, glove manufacturers, 80 Bleecker 
street, was established by A. J. Lowrey and Solomon Jeffers in 1867. 
They continued in partnership two years, dissolving by mutual agree- 



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424 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

ment, and cacli man proceeding to manufacture gloves independently 
until January i, 1852, when the partners became again associated under 
the old firm. Chauncey R. Lowrey, a son of A. J. Lowrcy, was asso- 
ciated with the latter for a period of three years, the firm from 1888 to 
1892 being A. J. Lowery & Son. The present concern makes a fine line 
of ladies' and gents' kid gloves and mittens. The product of the factory 
during 1891 amounted to about 3,000 dozen. 

Simon Hulett, 15 First? avenue, began manufacturing gloves and 
mittens on a small scale at the corner of Spring and Elm streets in 1 865. 
In March, 1871, he moved into the premises he now occupies, which he 
purchased and erected the year previous. He rnakes a general line of 
gloves including kid, calf, buck and sheep skin goods, and in 1891 he 
manufactured about 3,000 dozen. 

D. A. Mosher, glove manufacturer, 28 First avenue. Mr. Mosher is 
a native of Mayfield and came to Gloversville in 1864. He began man- 
ufacturing for himself in 1866, making a few gloves in a shop on East 
Fulton street. In 1879 he erected the shop he now occupies on First 
avenue. Mr. Mosher is engaged in making a fine line of kid goods, to 
which he gives exclusive attention. In 1891 he made 5,260 dozen. 

The firm of M. Beeber & Company, glove manufacturers, 58 South 
Main street, is composed of Max Beeber and Jacob Lehman, who es- 
tabhshed the business in 1867 in a shop on Bleecker street. They 
remained there only a short time, removing to their present location 
about 1870. They occupy a factory building three stories in height, 
with a frontage of fifty feet on Main street with two wings extending to 
the east 130 feet in depth. The firm confines itself to a high grade of 
goods made for the jobbing trade, consisting of a general line of fine 
kid, mocha, buck, horsehide and grain jack gloves and mittens. The 
business furnishes employment to upwards of 300 operatives in Glovers- 
ville, and the firm manufactured about 50,000 dozen during the year 
1891. Their New York warehouse is located at 475 Broadway. This 
firm has operated their factory in Gloversville eleven years. 

E, M. %L L. S. Brown, are manufacturers of heavy buck gloves at g 
East State street. Their business was established in 1868 by O. & T. 
Brown who carried it on for about two years, the former being associ- 
ated later with William Porter, and also with his son, E. M. Brown, the 



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GLOVE MANUFACTURERS. 425 

latter entering the business in 1873. The firm of Brown Brothers suc- 
ceeded to tlie business in 1886 and continued it for four years, when 
upon the death of George L. Brown, the junior partner, in 1890, the 
business was conducted by E. M. Brown alone. L. S. Brown, the jun- 
ior member of the present firm is a cousin of his partner, and had man- 
ufactured gloves in Kingsboro for sixteen years. He became a member 
of the present firm in December, 1890. The site of their factory is among 
the oldest of the glove manufacturing locations in the county. It was 
occupied early in the fifties by D. B. Judson. The concern employs 
six cutters on an average and in 1891 manufactured 6,500 dozen, hav- 
ing a valuation of about $65,000. 

James McSwiney, glove manufacturer, is located at 36 Cayadutta 
street. This business was established by Thomas & McSwiney in 1868, 
and was continued by them until 1880, when Mr. McSwiney became 
sole proprietor. His factory building is a two story brick structure 46 
by 30 feet in dimensions, with a frame wing, two stories in height, 30 
by 36. He manufactures an extensive line of gloves and mittens of 
heavy and medium weight. 

A. Klein & Son, manufacturers of gloves and mittens, are located at 
121 South Main street. Their business was established by Albert 
Klein, the senior member of the present firm, in the year 1868. In 
December, 1891, he admitted to partnership his son, Ervin Klein. 
They manufacture a general line of light and heavy goods, including 
250 to 300 styles. . They employ from sixty to eighty workers alto- 
gether, and in 1891 made about 7,000 dozen. 

Fear & White, 25 Yale street, glove manufacturers. This firm is 
composed of S. Fear and A. R. White. The business was begun in 
187b by S. Fear, father of the present senior member, who conducted 
the shop for a period of nineteen years. In 1889 he went to San Fran- 
cisco, where he has since been engaged in the manufacture of gloves, 
his establishment being known as the Excelsior Glove Company. Fear 
& White occupy a three story frame factory building, thirty by fifty- 
two feet in dimensions, and make a high price class of fine kid goods. 
They made in 1891 2,500 dozen. 

W. E. Whitney, glove manufacturer, is located at 41 Prospect street. 
He began manufacturing in January, 1871, at 14 School street, where 
64 



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426 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

he remained two years, removing to the corner of Prospect and Yale in 
January, 1873. The building which he then used as a factory has since 
then been considerably enlarged to accommodate increasing business. 
Mr. Whitney makes a fine line of ladies' and gents' kid gloves, and in 
1 89 1 manufactured about 6,000 dozen. 

Rudolph Stempfle, glove manufacturer, 50 First avenue, began busi- 
ness in 1872 on School street. He has occupied his present factory 
sixteen years. He makes a line of imported and domestic kid goods 
both lined and unlined. His output for 1891 was about 4,000 dozen. 

Phillip Ellsworth manufactures gloves at 85 School street. He first 
began business in 1872, occupying at that time the same location as at 
present He manufactures principally an extra fine quality of kid, Sar- 
anac, and horsehide gloves. About twenty- five persons are employed 
in the factory, but at least two thirds of the goods are made up outside. 
He made in 1891 12,000 dozen. 

Chauncey S. Kibbe, glove manufacturer, is located at 33 Cayadutta 
street. This business was established about twenty or twenty-five 
years ago by Uriel Case and carried on by him until 1873, when he ad- 
mitted Chauncey S. Kibbe to partnership. The firm of Case & Kibbe 
continned for two years, the junior partner withdrawing for one year, 
and then assuming entire control of the business, which he has con- 
ducted alone ever since. He has occupied his present factory since 
1886. It is a three story brick building, forty by seventy five feet in 
area, and employment is furnished to twenty-five or thirty persons in- 
side the factory. Mr. Kibbe manufactures principally heavy goods, in- 
cluding buck, calf and kid gloves, both lined and unlined. 

A. V. Fonda, glove manufacturer, S Judson street, began business in 
1873 on Main street. He has occupied his present factory since April, 
1 89 1. He chiefly makes heavy goods, including certain lines of buck, 
calf and sheep-skin gloves. His output in 1891 was about 2,500 dozen. 

S. W. Hallenbeck & Son are glove manufacturers, located at 4 Mont- 
gomery street. This business was established in 1874 by S. W. Hal- 
lenbeck and Charles Dennie. The firm of Hallenbeck & Dennie con- 
tinued about five years, and from that time until 1883 the senior mem- 
ber conducted the business alone, with the exception of a few years 
that he was associated with D. W. Smith. In 1883, S. W. Hallenbeck, 



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GLOVE MANUFACTURERS. 427 

jr., was received as a partner, and tlie firm started what is known as a 
road trade. Although the father died in May, 1 890, the firm remains 
unchanged. Tiiey manufacture a general line for the retail trade, and 
made in 1891 about 10,000 dozen. 

Charles McEwen, glove manufacturer, 65 South Main street, began 
manufacturing gloves in 1874. He had been connected with the glove 
business for twenty-five years. He occupies the factory which was for 
many years operated by Eliphalet Veeder. Mr. McEwen chiefly makes 
kid goods and in 1891 manufactured 2,800 dozen. 

The glove factory of Edwin H. Allen is located at the corner of Ful- 
ton and Fremont streets. The business was established in 1876. He 
makes a line of fine imported and domestic kid goods. Mr. Allen's 
office and salesroom is at 489 Broadway, New York, his Gloversville 
establishment being in charge of George Fursell, who has been engaged 
in the fine glove trade for more than forty years. He came here in 1850 
from Worcester, England, where he learned his trade. Mr. Allen em- 
ploys on an average six or eight cutters. 

Frederick Dade, glove manufacturer, 19 First avenue, is a native of 
England, having established his present business in Gloversville in 1876. 
He began making a few gloves on the site of his present shop, where 
he has developed an enviable reputation for high class goods. He 
manufactures a line of fine table cut gloves and mittens, and in 1891 
made 2,500 dozen. 

S. & H. Lebenheim, glove manufacturers, occupy the building at 26 
Judson street. They established this business on South Main street in 
1877, ''nd have occupied their present location about five years. Their 
product consists of a general line of both light and heavy gloves and 
mittens, and their output for 1891 was iO,ooo dozen. 

Z. B. Whitney, 5 Burr street, is a wholesale jobber in all kinds of 
glove leather. He began as a manufacturer of gloves in 1879, con- 
tinuing as such seven years. In Jaiiuary, 1886, he engaged in the 
leather business, dealing in both leather and gloves for two years, when 
he relinquished the latter and has since devoted himself entirely to his 
present business. He handled in 1891 about 16,000 dozen skins. 

William McDougall, glove manufacturer, began business in January, 
1879, with Thomas Fursell, the firm at that time being Fursell & Mc- 



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428 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

Dougall. It continued tlius for five years, when it was dissolved and 
each member continued to manufacture independently. In 1883 Mr. 
McDougall established a glove factory at the rear of his residence, and 
this location he still retains. The building is 24 x 40 feet and three 
stories in height. The product of his factory includes an excellent line 
of sheep, kid and calf-skin gloves and mittens, and the output in 189 1 
was about 10,000 dozen. 

Dempster & Place, glove manufacturers, are located at 60 Bleecker 
street. This firm was organized in January, 1879, and began manu- 
facturing in a small way at the corner of Main and First avenue, where 
they remained eight years. In January, i888, they moved into the 
property on Bleecker street, which they had previously erected and 
equipped for a modern glove factory. The firm manufactures a general 
line of both light and heavy buckskin and also kid gloves of a 
superior quality. Their factory is a three-story and basement brick 
building 40x80 feet in area. 

John R. Hamlen, 14 Fosdick street, first began manufacturing gloves 
in 1879. He has occupied his present location continually since that 
time. For four years, from 1884 to 1888, he was associated with W. 
E. Ward under the firm of Hamlen & Ward. He makes ladies', 
misses' and children's kid goods exclusively, and in 1891 manufactured 
2,500 dozen. 

Phair Brothers, glove manufacturers, occupy the building located at 
7 Burr street. The firm is composed of John T. and James S. Phair, 
who established this business in 1879. They employ twenty- nine 
workers inside the factory, but the greater part of their goods is made 
up outside. They make a specialty of men's, ladies' and children's kid 
mitts. Their output during 1891 was about S,000 dozen. 

Jesse Hall & Son, 31 Cayadutta street, are engaged in the manufac- 
ture of gloves and mittens. The business of this firm was established 
in 1875, by Jesse Hall. He was at that time located in a small shop on 
Spring street, where he remained one year, removing then to a building 
on East Fulton street. At the end of three years additional he moved 
his business to a shop on South Main street, and in 1879, to accommo- 
date increasing trade he built a large brick building, 35x60 in area, two 
Stories high, this being an addition to a frame structure standing on his 



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GLOVE MANUFACTURERS. 429 

present site on Cayadutta street. In 1887, his son George, who had 
then reached his majority, was received as a partner. The firm manu- 
facture a genera! line of light and heavy goods and employ between 
forty and fifty operatives, turning out 6,000 dozen annually. 

Thomas Pursell, glove manufacturer, 15 Temple street, came to 
Gloversville from England in 1856. He established himself as a man- 
ufacturer in 1879, and has constantly increased his capacity and im- 
proved his facilities for making a fine class of goods. The product of 
Mr. Pursell's factory consists mostly of fine domestic and imported kid 
gloves and mittens. His output during the year 1891 was about 5,000 
dozen. 

George W. Mandrill, 6 Division street, manufactures gloves and mit- 
tens. He began business in 1879 on Washington street. In 1886 he 
built his present factory where he employs about seventy workers and 
makes 12,000 dozen a year. 

A. R. Crounse, glove manufacturer, 20 Kingsboro avenue, began 
business about fifteen years ago. He makes sheep-skin gloves for work- 
ingmen and in 1891 manufactured i,000 dozen. 

Rea & White are glove manufacturers, occupying the premises 13^ 
First avenue. The firm is composed of Robert Rea and Frederick 
White who first established this enterprise in 1880 in the Veeder block 
on Main street, where they remained two years. They moved into the 
factory occupied at present in 1884. They manufacture a choice variety 
of gents', ladies' and children's fine gloves and mittens. Forty opera- 
tives are employed and the product of the factory in 1891 was about 
8,000 dozen. 

James A. McDougall & Company, manufacturers of gloves and mit- 
tens, occupy the brick building located at 65 Bleeker street. The firm 
is composed of James A. McDougall and Edward C. Collins, the busi- 
ness having been originally established by James A. McDougall and H. 
H. Pettit in 1880. Four years later Mr. McDougall sold his interest 
to Mr. Pettit and established himself alone, continuing thus for four ad- 
ditional years when the present firm was then formed. The factory 
building now occupied was purchased by Mr. McDougall in 1885. It 
is a three story brick building, 30 x 100 feet in area. The firm manu- 
factures a well known line of buck and kid good^. 



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430 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY. 

Chauncey J. Skiff, 7 Forest street, manufacturer of all kinds of grained 
leather and kid gloves, began business in January, 1 881. He manufac- 
tured in 1 89 1 between 3,000 and 3,500 dozen. 

V. F. Guibert, 21 Forest street, manufacturer of gloves and white 
hems, came to Gloversville from France in 1880. He makes a specialty 
of ladies' white and yellow chamois gloves of very fine quality. The 
white hems are made of kid leather and are used to hem the wrists of 
gloves and mittens. Of these hems, Mr. Guibert makes about 70,000 
dozen annually. 

George Gillespie, 5 Prospect street, began manufacturing gloves in 
1880, succeeding to the business of Mosher & Gillespie. He makes 
ladies' and gentlemen's mocha and kid gloves and mittens, turning out 
in 1 891 2,000 dozen. 

E. L. Heacock, corner Main and State streets, manufacturer of me- 
dium and heavy-weight gloves, began business in 1880, having been 
engaged in making gloves with his father, Philander C. Heacock, who 
had been a manufacturer for upwards of forty years. This shop pro- 
duced in 1891 400 dozen. 

Julius Kraus, corner Cayadutta and Vine streets, manufacturer of fine 
light-weight gloves, established himself in the business in 1869, being 
then located in New York. He began manufacturing in Gloversville 
in 1 880, and employs at present about thirty workers inside the factory, 
and in 1891 manufactured between 5,000 and 6,000 dozen. His factory 
building was built in 1889. 

A. B. Palmer, 3 Orchard street, established himself as a manufacturer 
of gloves and mittens in 1880. At present he directs his attention to 
the manufacture of a low priced grade of lined and unlined working 
gloves, which he sells entirely to the jobbing trade. He made in 1891 
5,000 dozen. 

William Van Dresser, manufacturer of kid, sheep, and calf-skin gloves 
and mittens, began his present business in 1880. He has increased his 
capacity from time to time and at present employs between sixty and 
seventy-five operatives. He made in 1 891 about 17,000 dozen. 

I. A. Leonard, 123 South Main street, manufactures calf, Saranac, 
and California leather gloves, and succeeded to the business of J. C. 
Leonard & Son about twelve years ago. Twelve persons are employed 
in the factory, and in 1891 11,000 dozen were manufactured, 



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GLOVE MANUFACTURERS. 431 

A. J. Zimmer & Company, glove manufacturers, are located at 81 
South Main street. This firm established its business in 1881, in a 
small shop further south on the same street. In 1887 their business 
had increased to such an extent that larger quarters were necessary and 
the firm purchased the property they now occupy at the corner of Main 
and Burr streets. Their factory consists of a double brick building, 
comprising two connected wings, three and one -half stories in height, 
and each 30 by 50 feet in area. They manufacture a line of working- 
men's gloves, consisting of horsehide, calf, goat, dog, sheep-skin, and 
California leather. In these grades they make up gloves and mittens 
of every conceivable style and shape, and cut on an average 200 dozen 
pairs a day. 

William Orr, glove manufacturer, 9 Cottage street, began business in 
1 88 1, on Lafayette street. In the fall of 1889 he built the factory he 
now occupies. He makes medium priced workingmen's gloves exclu- 
sively and in 1891 manufactured 4,000 dozen. 

W. R. Young, manufacturer of gloves and mittens, 35 South Main 
street, began business in 1881, with Charles H. Furness as a partner, 
and the firm continued one year. Mr. Young then carried on the en- 
terprise alone for a year when he admitted H. M. Ward as a partner. 
This last union was of only one year's duration and closed in 1884, 
since which time Mr. Young has been sole proprietor. His product 
consists chiefly of heavy goods, and he manufactured in 1891 7,000 
dozen. 

A. AUerhand, 10 Jay street, began manufacturing gloves about eleven 
years ago; He makes yellow leather, kid and buckskin goods. 

George H. Hilts, manufacturer of domestic and imported kid gloves, 
32 West Fulton street, began business in 1883, on School street. He 
moved to his present location in 1890, where he employs about forty 
workers altogether, ten of whom are in